Elie Wiesel 2020 Student Art Show

Junior Division - A through F

Sophia Barbosa
Virginia Beach Middle School
Ms. Horner 

Magna Mater 


The theme of this project was that “art is the highest form of hope,” quoted by Gerhard Richter. In my piece titled Magna Mater, another word for Mother Earth. It manifests the idea of my version of mother nature taking care of Planet Earth due to some tragedies occurring this day and age such as wildfires, droughts, deforestation, etc. the media I used were watercolors, colored pencils, pens, and markers to complete the drawing. I wanted to depict how there could be hope in the world if we attempt to make the world a better place. The quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present,” represents how the future could be bright if we try to save our own home we call Earth. 

Sarah Bartlett
Norfolk Collegiate School
Ms. Archer

The Waterfall


I stare over the ledge of the cliff/ staring at the waterfall below me/ on the island that I live, wondering if/ I should jump off into the sea/ the thoughts in my mind/ whip every which way/ my eyes close and I’m blind/ I sway from side to side/ the crashing of the waterfall/ is loud in my head/ it’s higher up than I recall/ I walk away from the edge the birds soar overheard/ the thoughts in my mind/ run around in circles/ the tree that I climbed/ stand behind me holding squirrels/ I walk to the tree in my yard, farther from the ledge/ to the stream/ and I pledge/ and I scheme/ that I will never go near the edge again/ it’s not my place/ I will not condemn/ my life to that sin and that phase

Sophia Burch 
Lynnhaven Middle School
Ms. Griffiths 

Flying High

A plane represents a portion of life. Most of the Jewish kids that lived during this time frame didn’t survive. Their portion of life was kept short. Elie was just 15 when he went to the camps, so the side that has striped pajamas represents all the children that wore those pajamas. The number was Elie’s numbers that represents their names turning into a number. The side with the flags represent the liberators, and them putting their life at risk. I chose to do my project about these teens and children because I’m a teen and to hear what they went through at my age. It makes me wonder if I could do it? Could I love with losing my family, leave my life and worth behind? I think hearing the stories of these survivors gives me hope that I can deal with my own dilemmas. 

Ava Burns 
Cape Henry Collegiate School
Mr. Warden 


William Claywell
Norfolk Collegiate School
Ms. Archer

A Boy’s Nightmare

I got striped pajamas for a small boy and they are ruined and messed up and have burn marks on them to show what conditions in a concentration camp were like. I was inspired to do this from the novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I also feel like it is important to know why concentration camps were terribly wrong and so bad for the world, that they aren’t normal war camps, and that the conditions were terrible. That’s what I tried to show in my art. 

Alexis Dillahunt
Virginia Beach Middle School
Ms. Baker

I’ve Got to Stay Hidden 

Philip Dodge
St. Matthew’s Catholic School
Ms. Rorick

Escape from Sobibor


In January of 1942, Heinrich Himmler created ‘Operation Reinhard,’ which had as its sole purpose the extermination of all the Jews. Sobibor was one of the first death camps built in Poland. Not many people know about Sobibor because of what happened there. It all started when Soviet Army Lieutenant Alexander Pechersky (Sasha) became a prisoner in Sobibor. When Sasha came, the prisoners, led by Leon Feldhendler let him in on their escape plan and decided on how to accomplish it. They had one goal: for all 600 camp prisoners to successfully escape. They had to kill all the SS Officers, and when it was time for roll call, they would escape through the gate and avoid the minefields. The escape was an overall success and 300 prisoners escaped. I am inspired by their incredible courage in the face of danger.

Kiersten Dominek
Great Bridge Middle School
Ms. Rupe

Lost Hope


My artwork depicts a young Holocaust victim looking through a fence of barbed wire. The darkened areas surrounding the adolescent girl represent the hard times closing in, until it seems there is no escape. For her, there was no one to turn to. Learning about the Holocaust survivors and the heroic liberators who rescued them encourages me to support others, and to stand up for what is right. The teenage years are hard, and sometimes kids are bullied or made to feel less than adequate by peers. If I can help even one person in the face of adversity, then maybe that will stop a situation from escalating. The survivors never gave up, even when death was imminent. Lending a hand and encouraging one another brings an understanding that the Nazis lacked. I will stand up for what is right so I never repeat what went wrong.

Kyle Farris
Hickory Day School
Mr. Jones

Angel of Death 


My art reflects the Holocaust by showing the dead with the skeleton, and also by using angel wings and the skeleton to represent Death itself. 

Zack Farris
Hickory Day School
Mr. Jones



The Grim Reaper has long been seen as the embodiment of death. Emotionless, uncaring, all ending...In this piece, the Grim Reaper symbolizes the Nazi party, and more specifically, Adolf Hitler himself. Behind the Reaper is the infamous German death camp, Auschwitz. During the Holocaust, over six million Jews, Poles, and POWS were killed by disease, gas, and exhaustion.