A Matter of Memory

Here’s an interesting project from last year – one can’t help but be mesmerized by the amazing images below.

The advanced studio art class participated in The Memory Project this past school year. Ben Schumaker, who founded the organization, discovered that many orphans in third world countries have no memories, no mementos of their childhoods. So, he initiated The Memory Project which provides each child with a portrait of himself or herself. The organization arranges to have these children photographed and sends the pictures to schools with advanced art classes. Those art students paint the portraits, which are then returned to the children.


Mrs. Bill received the following letter from Ben Schumaker, Director of the Memory Project, over the summer:

Dear Ms. Bill and Artists,

The kids in Lima, Peru have received the portraits you made for them!  In Lima there are artists in the main square who make portraits for tourists and others who are able to pay.  These kids would never have dreamt it, so it was a thrill for them to receive your gifts.  They were all completely captivated by their own portraits and their friends’.

This delivery took place at two different orphanages (each very large), and we did our best to get a nice photo of each child holding each portrait.  As is always the case, some of the kids who were registered to receive portraits were no longer there (both of these orphanages work very hard to get the kids placed with families).  For those kids, we took pictures of their portraits either being held by friends or being held alone near the orphanage gate.  Next, we gave those portraits to staff members who will forward them to the children’s new locations.

Thanks so much to all of you for being part of the Memory Project.  You have given these kids unique gifts to last a lifetime.  It would be great to have you involved again next year!

Most Gratefully,

Ben Schumaker
Memory Project Director
(608) 467-5706

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