Student Artist Promotes Tolerance, Remembrance

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Congratulations to Amira Sadieva, a seventh-grade student at Parkside Middle School, whose artwork won first place in the Junior Division (grades 6, 7, and 8) of the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s 2022 Virtual Arts Contest. Sadieva’s creation, titled “Forget Me Nots,” was presented with the 2022 Carole Weinstein Prize for Tolerance and Justice in the Visual Arts at a ceremony held recently at the museum, located in Richmond. In addition to the award, Sadieva received a $500 monetary prize, and the winning artwork will be on display in the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s exhibition.

Students entering the contest were tasked with submitting artwork that expressed how they were impacted by learning about the Holocaust and that supported the contest theme “Never again.” In the written description accompanying the submission, Sadieva indicated that the numbers displayed on the arm of the older pair of hands represent those tattooed on prisoners in concentration camps for identification.

“I knew in general what the Holocaust was but completing the project in school let me learn about the different stories of victims and introduced me to the concept of never forget. 15-20mv stands for 15-20 million victims,” said Sadieva in describing the piece. “The symbols on the butterflies are Hebrew for life, peace, and freedom. The flowers in the painting are called forget me nots, and the pot they’re being held in is being handed down from the older pair of hands to the younger pair, symbolizing older generations teaching history to newer ones so that their memories don’t die out and result for history to repeat itself.”

Sadieva’s art project was completed as an assignment for teacher Marc Larochelle’s seventh grade social studies class. Twenty-eight of Sadieva’s classmates also submitted their artwork to the contest. Virginia History Museum judges evaluated entries to award prizes for first, second, and third place, and an honorable mention at junior and senior contest levels. Judging was based on interpretation of the topic and how the student’s submission communicated the contest theme.

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