Memorable ‘Memory’ Experience for Art Honor Society

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A group of 20 students in the high school’s National Art Honor Society recently participated in the Memory Project, an initiative which invites art teachers and their students to create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents and extreme poverty.

The East Islip students – Alexis Barber, Sophie Bingham, Steven Brown, Lauren Florenz, Mikayla Henderson, Alyssa Huss, Brandon Jinete, Kelli Karlin, Sarah Kern, Michael Kilbourne, Madeleine Lanberg, Kaylee Matos, Jenna Moceri, Katryna Mullen, Leah Neville, Hillary Ng, Katie Spina, Joelle Tomossone, Samantha Winegard and Logan Witte – were given photographs of children from Peru and then created portraits of those children using media of their choice, including pencil, watercolor, charcoal, colored pencils or digitally rendered portraits. 

“The Memory Project is such an amazing organization and really is a perfect fit for our National Art Honor Society to showcase their talents and help youth around the world who face a number of challenges,” said teacher Heather Toomey, who served as the project’s co-adviser along with Daniel Figiozzi. “I am proud of all the artists that participated in creating beautiful portraits of these 20 young children from Peru.”

“It was a true honor being able to give this wonderful gift to these children,” said Bingham. “I think it is wonderful that we get to put a smile on these children's faces.”

“It was an experience I will always remember,” said student Mullen. “I hope the child I drew enjoys it as much as I enjoyed drawing her. I am happy she gets to keep it. It was a nice experience to participate in something that gives back to people.”

“As president of the NAHS, I am very involved in all the service projects being done,” said Florenz. “I think the Memory Project was such an amazing activity and an honor for all the students to participate in. Being able to create art for kids in other countries is a really great concept because although there may be a language barrier, it’s cool how the art can bring us all together, and I think everyone in the Society was really appreciative of the opportunity.”