The Memory Project Comes To A Close


Leila Tuura and Grace Zupke with their finished portraits

Leila Tuura, Reporter

Natalie Golly shows off her artwork

Earlier this school year, the South Shore high school art students began creating artwork to contribute to The Memory Project. This project is a non-profit organization that allows art teachers and students to create portraits for children around the world who have faced substantial challenges. South Shore’s art students will be contributing 35 completed portraits of children to The Memory Project. Most students are finished or close to being completed with their drawings. The art teacher, Ms. Irwin, is encouraging students to finish their portraits within the next week or two so we’re prepared to send them all in February. 

Throughout this project, the art students have been challenged by the study of facial proportions and shading the faces realistically. The task seemed daunting to some students, but Ms. Irwin demonstrated some artistic techniques that made the project seem achievable. She introduced the grid method to some students who had never used it before. This method is done by drawing a grid on the drawing paper and original image to break down the picture into small, manageable pieces to help understand the picture better. All of the art students were at a different skill level before starting this project. Some students who had experience with drawing faces used a different kind of paper that didn’t allow them to blend with a blending stump as they normally would. This provided an extra challenge for them. Others that didn’t have prior experience with drawing faces used a type of paper that was easily blendable so they could keep their focus on the basics of facial proportions. 

When asked about how she thought The Memory Project went, Ms. Irwin commented, “This project was a good learning experience for my students. It challenged students to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to learn new skills that they haven’t tried before. I think a lot of students surprised themselves with what they could achieve.” Overall, the project was a success. All of the students were challenged in different ways, but they managed to overcome these challenges and make amazing pieces of artwork. Ruthann Robinson, an 11th grade art student, explained, “My favorite thing about this project was getting to learn about different shading techniques and the people we were drawing.” 

One thing that Ms. Irwin said about things that could’ve gone better was, “Some students found it challenging to work on such a long term project. Maybe breaking it up into smaller pieces would’ve made it more manageable.” Even with these obstacles, the high school art students were all very grateful to have the opportunity to participate in The Memory Project.