Art show helps students comprehend the Holocaust
By Sydney Spaeth, Current Staff
During the Holocaust, it was a rare occurrence to capture a suffering Jewish person smiling. That fact inspired Rachel Mauney, an East High junior, to create an artwork for the West Bend High Schools’ Holocaust Art Show.
The show, which centered around the Holocaust theme “Rising from the Ashes,” had its gallery opening April 20 in the atrium of the Silver Lining Arts Center.
Mauney chose to focus on a girl named Rozia Susskind, who was born into a Jewish family. After Rozia faced the challenge of her mother dying from cancer, she and her uncles were forced into the ghettos and remained there until they died.
“I wanted to make sure to get Rozia’s expression that was in the photo there and she’s kind of smiling and happy and I wanted to express something beyond just the sadness of the blank kind of stares that you most often see,” Mauney said.
Art teachers Jay Krueger and Deb Prahl worked with Scott Lone, a cross categorical teacher, to develop the idea of creating an art show revolving around the Holocaust.
“Mr. Lone is an educator that is very passionate about the Holocaust, so he actually approached Mrs. Prahl and myself to get some student help for some visual artwork,” Krueger said. “His (students) were going to work on some writing components to be part of the show.”
The art students in Krueger and Prahl’s classes each chose a person affected by the Holocaust to look up, research, and use as inspiration in creating their artwork. The students used different colors and angles in order to portray their person.
Mauney found an unusual angle when creating her artwork, looking beyond just the sadness often seen in Holocaust pictures and artwork. But some students decided to take on the most common theme of the Holocaust, which is a sad and depressed mood.
East sophomore Jaclyn Luckow chose to depict Ava Bridget, someone who was denied entry on the ship to America because she was pregnant. The rest of Ava’s family was let on.
“I wanted to do a side portrait because a lot of kids in our class were doing straight ons, so I wanted to do something different,” Luckow said.
Annie Guerrero, an East junior, decided to paint the eyes of a Holocaust victim to truly capture the feelings of those suffering. She decided to paint a young girl’s eyes who went through the pain of the Holocaust.
“Based on her picture, I guess because it was black and white, I kind of just tried to imagine her as a person,” Guerrero said.
The show also featured a string quartet made of student musicians, and a buffet with food prepared by culinary students. Holocaust survivor Nate Taffel, who spoke with students on April 18, was in attendance.
(Photos by Sydney Spaeth, Current Staff.)