Our Portrait of the Month selection for December is a little different than usual. Shane Wiggs, a teacher in El Paso, sent us a photo of a piece he worked on with his students. They worked collaboratively using the image of Wlodimierz Daniluk to create an amazing grid-based painting. Shane explained how they worked with a math teacher during the process of creating the grid (read more about that on the community page). The result was a large-scale, colorful homage to a heroic person who was a victim of hate. In addition to the beautiful tribute, we loved hearing about the collaborative aspect of the process, because it furthers our goal of cultivating community.
The students reflected on the experience of working together, and on the subject himself:
“I think having everyone do a different piece really made us see everyone’s perspective. It made me feel like the painting would show how everyone thought about the man in the picture. When I saw the painting I was surprised about how it turned out. It turned out amazing and really fit together because everyone did it their own way.”
“It was a great way for us to communicate more with each other about the pieces we had and making sure that they were aligned together. Once we were finished with the project and found out more information about the person we painted, Wlodimierz Daniluk, it makes you feel more connected to the piece… He saved and allowed Jews to stay in his home so that they had a safe place to live during a horrifying time where they were hated even though he put his own life at risk.”
“Combining our efforts and learning the person we were painting was also very good motivation to see this through to the end.”