IB visual artists send portraits to Mexico

Senior student-artists in the International Baccalaureate art program at Notre Dame finished up what is becoming an annual tradition for soon-to-be college-bound NDP and IB graduates. Each of the IB senior visual artists created a portrait of an orphan 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.

Yesterday, those seniors packaged and shipped their portraits to Mexico.

The charitable nonprofit organization invites art teachers and their students to create and donate their portraits to youth around the world 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, the Memory Project also wants to help the kids see themselves as "works of art."

Sandy LewAllen, who is the chair of NDPMA’s art department, said the IB seniors really get into the project, the last of their Notre Dame careers.

“The artwork has been shipped and is on its way to Mexico,” she said.

LewAllen also said that sometime during the summer, she likely will get photos from Mexico of the orphans posing with their portraits. “It truly is heartwarming to see how excited the kids are when they receive our artwork,” she said.

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. Notre Dame's upper school 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 schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools 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.