The opinions expressed in these student films belong to the student filmmakers and do not necessarily express views of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Senior Visual Arts

1st Place Senior Visual Arts

Kate Bonner

Norfolk Academy
Teacher - Mr. David Kidd


Confinement is one of the many motifs of the Holocaust, hence the caged heart.  With numbers tattooed on the forearm of a man’s skeleton, this victim has been lost within the cage the Nazis placed on him. They took everything from him, body included, until he was only bones.

2nd Place Senior Visual Arts

Maria Jimenez
Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Teacher - Ms. Ellen Sullivan


The Fortitude of the People

Inspired by Derek Mores, I collaged a tree made of people. The tree symbolizes fortitude, and the people portray the mixture of cultures and race that overcomes hatred. In his novel, Night, Elie Wiesel mentions the ashes of burning people covering the sky. In order to relate my work to the novel, in the background, I created an ashy sky. The colors created by the collaged people stand out representing the survival of the people as they work together to overcome a time of crisis.

3rd Place Senior Visual Arts


Rachel Vredenburg
Grassfield High School
Teacher - Ms. Margaret Childers



The depicted figure represents cruelties against those who did not follow the mindset of the majority. The gaunt pallor of this tortured soul reflects the hardship endured, among sickness and scarcity of food, within the concentration camps that contained those devoted to the Jewish faith during the Holocaust.

Honorable Mention Senior Visual Arts


Benjamin Kelly
Grassfield High School
Teacher - Ms. Margaret Childers


Hands on the World

My piece portrays current issues throughout the world today, including the Umbrella Riots in Hong Kong, police brutality in Ferguson, and transgender oppression. It also implements the power of technology to convey the message of theses injustices around the world.

Junior Visual Arts

1st Place Junior Visual Arts

Alexis Boley
Smithfield Middle School
Teacher - Ms. Patricia Dillingham


Out of the Ashes

This art piece is to show that there is always a chance to change. The open book is there to show Hitler’s book burnings, and the swastika burned into the book shows where it all started. The butterflies represent the lives that were lost in the concentration camps.

2nd Place Junior Visual Arts

Matthew Crouse
Lynnhaven Middle School
Teacher - Ms. Sarah Morrison


Acceptance Makes Free

The artwork is supposed to resemble a board that has been ripped off of a concentration camp barracks. The yellow Star of David symbolizes that Jews are being kept inside. The statement “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work sets you free), has been defaced by scratching out the world Arbeit with a stone or sharp piece of metal, and the word “Akzeptanz” (acceptance) has been written in its place. This changes the meaning of the phrase to “Akzeptanz Macht Frei” (acceptance makes you free), which is meant to simulate a protest pleading for understanding by a prisoner at one of the death camps. The phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” was present at the entry of some of the concentration camps.

3rd Place Junior Visual Arts

Sarah Harding
Northview Middle School
Teacher - Mr. Byron Jones



The reason I decided to create this picture is that, in the Holocaust, when the Jews got “showers,” they would die and leave this world. This picture represents the Jews who died from the poisonous gas and their spirits leaving them. To me, the Holocaust was a horrible, devastating event, maybe even the most horrifying time in history. Also, the Nazis killed Jews in every way possible, and this photograph, to me, captures the horrific part of the whole incident with the darkness and evil around. 

Honorable Mention Junior Visual Arts

Zachary Cutler
Lynnhaven Middle School
Teacher - Ms. Sarah Morrison


According to Society, I am nothing but a number, but I am important, I’m a daughter, I am a wife, and I am a mother. My life has value, and no one can take that away from me.

Honorable Mention Junior Visual Arts

William Oates
Lynnhaven Middle School
Teacher - Ms. Sarah Morrison


My painting says equality over a bloody hand to signify that no matter your race or religion, everyone’s blood is red. I believe that even though people may look different on the outside or believe in different things, we are all the same on the inside and should be treated equally.