Fania Brantsovskaya

At the end of February we did a workshop in partnership with Centropa. Educators and museum professionals from around the world joined our Zoom training to learn how to combine The Memory Project Productions workshop and Centropa’s vast resources of stories and photos. We worked with a whole new range of subjects from Centropa’s collection of photographs and  interviews with eastern European Jews.
Jerilyn B. has worked with the Memory Project before and wanted to refresh her memory because she plans to teach with it again. She created this beautiful portrait of Fania in only 10 minutes! She reflected on her experience:
How did it feel to spend so much time observing a photograph and then making art based on the photo?  

As an artist and art educator, this activity gave me “limited” time to focus on creating a drawing with a piece of vine charcoal. Because the time was limited, it enables you and the students to make decisions and to draw the shapes and values they see quickly. It helps them to lay in a basic structure then go back to refine shapes and values and get a more intimate look at the shapes and turn the drawing into a “recognizable” person.


What did you like and dislike about the art experience?

I loved the multidisciplinary aspect of the art experience, integrating a “historical genocide” to teach empathy and compassion through the art and story process. The process of turning the image upside down to assist participants to look at the art elements of shape and value helps to remove the fear of drawing a face/portrait.


What do you think you will remember about this experience? Why?

I will remember Fania as being close to my Mother’s age and thinking about the comparison of their life experiences. This experience reminds me that HATE should never be allowed to flourish and gain power over humanity because we are all one, brothers and sisters.



Click here to view past Portrait of the Month selections