by Liz Feldstern, Executive Director, IHE
One of the most recent additions to the Institute for Holocaust Education’s offerings to schools is the “Art & the Holocaust” program. Now in its second year, “Art & the Holocaust” is designed to encourage middle school art classes to study the Holocaust, and, specifically, the connections between that period of history and art (as documentation, as a means of resistance or stolen art).
A total of 11 Omaha middle schools participated in the program over the course of this school year, with more than 900 students included. Each school had one or two of their art teachers attend a training session with the IHE, after which the teachers passed on the specially-designed Holocaust lesson plans to their classes. With art supplies subsidized by the IHE, the students then went on to create works of visual art inspired by their studies. Many students created charcoal portraits of victims and survivors of the Holocaust (including faces you will recognize from our own community). Others produced a mural based on a piece of Holocaust literature, or designed a collage of images based on Holocaust-era artifacts.
A selection of the students’ thoughtful and stunning work will be on display in the JCC Gallery during the month of April.