Students Bring Orphan Photos to Life

Published 04/17 2012 02:54PM

Updated 04/18 2012 08:58AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new project at Lafayette High School has students creating artwork that will travel thousands of miles away.

Snap shots of Honduran orphans come to life through art students at Lafayette High School.

They have each chosen an orphan photo to replicate in a portrait for The Memory Project.

"I'm painting this about six year old named Christopher Jesus, and with just being able to paint him it brings me closer to him since he's an orphan. It helps me to be able to act like oh I want to go play with this kid, because he's kinda cute," said sophomore, Miriah Auxier.

The students will be sending fifteen portraits to an orphanage in Honduras.

Since 2004, The Memory Project has sent more than 30,000 portraits to 33 countries from students around the world.

This is the first year Lafayette High School has participated.

"It's good to connect to the rest of the world, it has a lot more meaning to it when you are doing it for someone else," said Lafayette art teacher, Diana Wood.

Diana Wood struck interest in this project at an art conference.

She knew it would be a perfect challenge for her advanced students.

"We work a lot on blending colors and matching color tones and stuff like that. They have to do that to these portraits, they have to match their skin tone and texture of their hair and clothing and the shading to show folds in the clothes. So it ties right into our curriculum of doing portraits with shading and color mixing," said Wood.

Students have taken on the challenge and are beginning to feel connected with their orphan.

"They're trying to do such a good job for those kids, that it takes a little while longer. And they want it to be perfect for them, I think is the hardest thing. They are trying to capture their personality," said Wood.

The orphans have very few possessions and hardly any childhood mementos.

To them, a portrait can be worth a thousand words.

The Memory Project hopes to inspire global friendship and a positive sense of self.

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