In January, CJ students and students from the Dayton Regional STEM School began working on an art project with high school refugee students connected with the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley's Refugee Resettlement program. The art projects will now be on display during the art exhibition: HOME at the Dayton International Peace Museum.
"The idea behind the project was that since this is the refugee's new home, we wanted to come up with an idea of what home means to them," said Noah Meyer '17. "We partnered up and put our faces side-by-side with pictures of what home means to all of us."
The refugee students attend Belmont and Longfellow Alternative High Schools. Bereket Gebre, who just completed his sophomore year at Belmont, said he enjoyed working on the project.
"I liked drawing the picture," Gebre shared. "We had a lot of fun."
Senior Capstone Coordinator Molly Bardine said she became involved with the project because Noah and other members of the Class of 2017 are hoping to take what they have learned so far about the refugees in Dayton and incorporate that into their Senior Capstone project.
"What this is doing is helping them understand the refugee situation in Dayton and giving them opportunities to socialize, create art, and express themselves," Bardine explained. "Through art, they are able to connect their ideas of home, friendship, and family. The artwork itself is a reflection of home and how they have shared interests in music, activities, and food."
The high school students met on Wednesdays until the end of the school year to complete the art projects. They would also meet for social gatherings on weekends which included playing games like basketball and soccer.
"I liked playing soccer and the different games," Gebre reflected.
"We want to keep meeting with this group," Meyer noted. "It may evolve through the next year."
Bardine added, "When I think of persons of faith and having these hearts and minds as wide as the world, I see the students opening themselves up to this experience and recognizing that they need to bring a better understanding of the refugee population that exists in Dayton."
The art exhibition: HOME will be on display June 4-18, Wednesdays through Sundays from 1-5 p.m. On Saturdays June 4, 11, and 18, a Refugee Speaker Series will be held at 1:30 p.m. You can learn more about the guest speakers and the art exhibition here.
Posted June 1, 2016