High school embraces Memory Project
Each year, Sonoma Valley High School art students, under the guidance of teacher Owen Tuttle, participate in the Memory Project (memoryproject.org). This nationwide initiative invites art students to practice empathy and kindness for others by creating portraits of children and teens around the world who have been orphaned, neglected or disadvantaged.
These children rarely have many keepsakes and these portraits provide them with a special memory of their youth and their self-identity. This year, 22 portraits of young boys and girls in Vietnam were produced, based on photos provided by the Memory Project organization. “The youth in Vietnam who will receive these new works of art will value them for a lifetime,” said Memory Project director and founder Ben Schumaker. “The caliber of the work produced by Sonoma students is stunning and a testament to the excellent instruction they receive.” Pictured is Sonoma Valley High School graduate Olivia Merino (currently a freshman at Sonoma State University), daughter of Spanish teacher Pedro Merino. She is shown working on a portrait last year which was mailed to a young boy in Ecuador. Participation in The Memory Project by Sonoma Valley High has been underwritten for the past three years by civics teacher David Donnelly.