Drawing memories

Artwork created for Mexican orphans by NDP IB Art students gets delivered.

Portraits created by last school-year's senior student-artists in NDP's International Baccalaureate art program were finally delivered to orphans living in Mexico as part of the "Memory Project,” a unique initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who have been neglected, orphaned or disadvantaged.

The art was completed and shipped to Mexico just before the seniors graduated in May.

Administrators affiliated with the Memory Project told Notre Dame's art chair Sandy LewAllen that the kids in Mexico were thrilled to open their portraits.

"We're so pleased to let you know that the portraits you created were delivered to the children in Mexico, and it was a terrific experience for all involved," said a Memory Project official. "The children were so excited to receive your artwork and very touched by your efforts to create such special gifts. They fully understood that creating the portraits was a way to show them how much you cared about their well-being."

Check out a video of the children in Mexico as they received their portraits.

The charitable nonprofit organization Memory Project invites art teachers and their students around the world  to create and donate their portraits to youth who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence and extreme poverty.

Administrators from the Memory Project say that kids in such situations tend to have few personal keepsakes, and project organizers aim to provide them with special memories that capture a piece of their childhood – portable pieces of their personal history. As much as possible, they said the Memory Project also wants to help the kids see themselves as "works of art."

LewAllen noted also that as part of this project, NDP and the students helped to provide $3,200 in educational sponsorship for the children. 

Officials with the Memory Project said they were very grateful for all of the extra time and effort LewAllen and her students put into making the project possible. 

"Thank you for helping us build international friendship and solidarity through the arts," they said. "It is our true privilege to do this work with you, and we very much hope to have that privilege again."

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org