THOMASVILLE -- For the past six years, students at Brookwood have contributed works of art to The Memory Project, based in Sun Prairie, Wis. Their paintings of orphans this year will go to the subjects of the portraits at an orphanage in Guatemala. Previously, Brookwood paintings have gone to orphans in Rwanda, Haiti, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
The portraits were exhibited in early June at the Wiregrass Gallery, an artists' co-op gallery at 120 Broad Street in Thomasville, before they were sent to The Memory Project for delivery to the children in Guatemala.
Ben Schumaker, who heads The Memory Project, takes photographs of orphaned, neglected or disadvantaged children and sends them to art teachers in the United States who recruit students to create the portraits. When he delivers the paintings to the children, he takes pictures of them holding their portraits to send to the participating art teachers and students.
Maureen Harrer, the teacher who organized the volunteer project locally, said that the students who produce the portraits outside of class receive service credit for part of their time, since Brookwood has a community service requirement for Upper School students. Harrer, who teaches art, also painted a portrait this year.
Some students have participated for several years, she explained, because of the satisfaction of knowing the portraits go to children who own few, if any, personal possessions.
Pictured above, holding the Guatemalan children's portraits they produced are front row: Emily Drew, Elin McGregor, Hannah Gilliland, Mikki Noble, Mary Katherine Moreton and Bethany Harrel; second row: Rand Pope, Justin Johnson, Britanny Blasko and Madeline MacQuirter.
Brookwood students' portraits of Guatemalan orphans exhibited in the Wiregrass Gallery on Broad Street.