The Sacramento Children’s Museum unveiled its first art exhibit in collaboration with Memory Project, a non-profit organization. The topic of the exhibit is Syrian refugee children.
Students in advanced art classes in high schools across the country drew or painted portraits of real refugee children photographed living on the border of Syria and Jordan.
Two local high schools, Inderkum High School in Sacramento and Vista del Lago in Folsom, participated in creating portraits.
Molly Mix, the museum’s program and membership manager, says the exhibit is a perfect fit for the children’s museum because of its focus on children.
“It’s educational and it bridges that gap of ‘that’s them over there and this is us over here,’ ” says Mix. “When you look at their eyes and their faces and the detail in those photographs and paintings...you really feel like you know these children."
Anna Fantasia is the museum marketing director. She says the timing of the exhibit correlated with the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month observed by Muslims around the world, including the thousands of Muslims in the Sacramento region.
In addition to the exhibit, different Ramadan activities took place at the museum for the first time as part of the museum's ongoing Cultural Connections program.
The museum held storytime Friday featuring the book It’s Ramadan, Curious George.
Kenza Elhonsali brings her children to the museum often. She was there during the book reading.
“The children were able to relate to not only Curious George, but also learn about Ramadan,” says Elhonsali. “It helps kids connect with those around them and the diversity that we have in this area.”
The exhibit, however, is a whole other thing than what children are used to, according to Elhonsali.
“Kids are so innocent, they don’t see what’s on the news,” she says. “They take each of their friends as just another human being, so this is great for the whole community to learn about one another.”
Replicas of these art pieces are displayed in a section of the museum. The original artwork was sent to the refugee children as gifts.