GRISWOLD – Art students at Griswold High School are using their skills for a good cause – painting portraits of children from Pakistan.
Finished paintings adorned a wall last Wednesday in art teacher Cordelia Baker’s painting class, while some students worked to put the finishing touches on their creations.
Baker’s students are taking part in a program from the Memory Project, a charity that connects children around the world through art.
Through the charity, art students have created more than 160,000 portraits of children “who have faced war, violence, poverty, neglect, family loss” in 55 countries since 2004, according to the Memory Project’s website.
“They’ll match you with a school or an orphanage,” Baker said. “It gives the kids a nice way to learn about a different culture.”
The painting project started about a month ago. The finish, she said, “times out nicely with Thanksgiving, because it gives you a chance to think about what you have. It’s pretty meaningful.”
Baker said she originally took part in the program while a student teacher and decided to take part in it after becoming a full-time art teacher this year.
“It’s something I always wanted to do when I had a painting class,” she said.
After she joined the program, the charity sent Baker large color photos of Pakistani children between the ages of 5 and 17. The photos were captioned with the children’s first names and ages, but to protect their privacy, no last names were given or where in Pakistan they are.
“They didn’t tell us anything about them,” Baker said.
Baker’s 23 students then were given a photo to copy, using acrylic paints on paper.
Once completed, the paintings will be returned to the Memory Project, which will mail them to the children in Pakistan.
“It gives them a snapshot of their childhood,” Baker said.
“I think it’s great,” said Shaye Lattin, a 17-year-old junior. “You’re doing a good deed for kids in other countries.”
“It’s a really cool assignment,” said Sierra Gray, 17, and a…