The Memory Project of the National Art Honor Society 

Christine Benites, staff writer

New Providence High School has had its own chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) for decades and each year it keeps growing.

In the coming weeks, the members of NAHS will participate in a service opportunity known as the Memory Project. 

President of NAHS, Greg Genualdi, explained that “The Memory Project is an organization with the goal of uniting students and children from all across the world through artwork. The organization was founded in 2004 by Ben Schumaker and has had nearly 280,000 students involved across 55 countries.”

This year, NAHS is receiving 30 photographs of displaced children from India that are suffering from the pandemic. Club members are going to convert these photos into portraits using their choice of paint or colored pencils. 

Vice President of NAHS, Ashley Wahlers, says, “These children were taken from their families due to neglect or abuse. So they really don’t have many many belongings or pictures of themselves. We hope that this will create a sentimental piece that they’ll cherish.” 

Both Greg and Ashley participated in this project last year in their painting class and had amazing experiences. 

Ashley explained, “I spent time making portraits for three different children from Africa. I was sent a video of all the children receiving their portraits and it made me feel so good that I created something they’ll love.” 

The project itself has a huge impact on both the students creating the art and the children receiving it. Greg says, “I think this project is a great way for us to share our talents while also spreading kindness. After all, these children come from places where they may not have access to art supplies, and by sending these portraits, we are helping to bring art into their lives.” 

Mrs. Johnson-Tiongson, Advisor of the NAHS says that this project gives the students a reason to gather and be creative because it is so difficult during these unprecedented times to remain connected to creativity. 

Mrs. Johnson-Tiongson loves learning from students and teaching them art techniques and sharing her creativity and experiences. She says the project won’t be the same as it has been in the past, but it will still be amazing. A Zoom meeting will be set up between the NAHS members and the children they did portraits for, hoping for the same reactions and previous years. 

Amidst the pandemic, it’s difficult to do projects the same as in the past years. However, Mrs. Johnson-Tiongson says one of her biggest goals as an advisor is to “make something happen for the students to make then feel a little sort of like normal.”