Graphic design students create portraits of children around world


Erica Dawson

Ten graphic design students display their portraits for the Memory Project

Megan Messer, Opinions Editor

Ten graphic design students look at their computer screens, engulfed with inspiration. The art they are creating will soon travel across the world, sending joy to those less fortunate.

They have chosen to volunteer for The Memory Project, a charitable nonprofit organization that allows art teachers and students to help spread kindness by creating portraits for children around the world who face challenges in their lives.

It is important for our artwork to have purpose, and overall we tend to create a better product if there is a purpose behind it.”

— Erica Dawson

“Students are connecting to a part of the world that may otherwise never be possible,” Graphic design teacher Erica Dawson said. “For some, [The Memory Project] offers an opportunity to reconnect through their personal experiences or family heritage and share with the class.”

The students who chose to volunteer worked with children from the Philippines. Some students say the project was a good experience to learn about another part of the world and give back through the use of their graphic design skills.

“I think it’s important to make a difference in other people’s lives who are less fortunate than us,” junior Madison Barnes said. ‘I know that I would love to receive something like that from someone so I decided to reciprocate that with my graphic design skills.”

The class as a whole took on the project by looking at the region where children are from and learning about it. Even if students did not choose to create image from The Memory Project, they were still able to explore a different part of the world through images and videos from the children of that region.

“It is important for our artwork to have purpose and overall we tend to create a better product if there is a purpose behind it,’ Dawson said. “This project allows students to create meaning behind their work and get invested in the purpose and not just the techniques. The memory project is a great example of how we can use art to make an impact, small or large.” 

Lucy Carcamo
Graphic Design students updated their annual “Portrait Project.”

The project offered a hands-on learning experience where students could incorporate meaning into their work. Many students who participated in the Memory Project agreed it was their favorite project of the year so far.

“I definitely would take this opportunity again if I could,” Barnes said. “I think it would be amazing to receive something like that from someone whether or not you know them, so I think it’s be cool to make someone happy like that.”

Read about The Memory Project here.