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

Elie Wiesel 2021 Student Art Show

Junior Division - S through Z

Olivia Steil | Sahara Sullivan | Alia Thomas | Siena Tridico | Ava Tunnell | Tessa Walski | Cameron Wells | Brooke Yeany 

Olivia Steil

St. Matthew's Catholic School
Mrs. Mercado


Diaries in the Holocaust

Only a small number of children who suffered through the Holocaust wrote diaries that were found. These journals documented their experiences and feelings during this awful part of our history. Anne Frank wanted her diary to be a support and comfort to her in an uncertain, scary time. Diaries are a way of expressing one's feelings through writing and being true to yourself and your feelings. Anne does this in her diary by telling us her love interests, complaining about her family, and telling us how she feels like a normal teenage girl would do. In my character's diary, Eva experiences love, sadness, and death of her twin. Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” The diaries of the children who suffered through the Holocaust show us that even in the worst of times they had some of the best times. During the winter of despair, they found the spring of hope. 

Sahara Sullivan

Cape Henry Collegiate
Ms. Eden


The Effects of the Global Pandemic

My entry was inspired by the struggles of our current day situation. It depicts people coming together despite COVID-19's effect on us as a whole. Times are difficult. While we have a pandemic going around, people are helping one another and taking care of each other in a variety of ways. It takes a true test as a society to stay calm and conjoined during times like these. My art was inspired by this togetherness, by this idea that we are a whole society with individual differences that are connected by a common hope of perseverance through this global crisis. My art is a historic account for future generations to come together and help one another through any trying time. 

Alia Thomas

Hickory Day School (NC)
Mr. Jones


Justice for All

I wanted to show in one creative effort all of the crazy events of the past year and hopefully spark some civil discussion of all the ways our country needs to improve.  I put the Statue of Liberty in the forefront because its meaning is freedom. However, there wasn’t and hasn’t been much freedom for most. 
I took a quote from the pledge, but I put quotation marks with all because not everyone is getting justice or liberty. There still is discrimination to this day and the pictures behind the statue are them being treated differently and fighting for their rights. Hopefully, my work illustrates that there isn’t liberty and justice for all.

Siena Tridico

Hickory Day School (NC)
Mr. Jones



If we destroy everyone that is not like us we destroy what gives life color. Without color, life becomes obsolete and dull. We will have effectively shot ourselves in the foot, destroying the wings that let us fly. But arguments where there were none indicate change. 
Even if the answer should be obvious since human rights are a given, disagreements precede all change. Not everyone is going to see life in the same light because our lives are so varied. A clashing of sides is inevitable.

Ava Tunnell

Hickory Day School (NC)
Mr. Jones



 When I saw the quote, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains,” I automatically thought about how even the most broken people, objects, or animals are beautiful if you look hard enough. That’s why I took the rose and made it look broken.  I wanted to show that even a broken flower has beauty in it. 

Tessa Walski

Oscar F. Smith Middle School
Ms. Toomey


Hope for Freedom

Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times it was the worst of times... it was the spring of hope, it  was the winter of despair.”  At various times in history, kids are running from horrors that we can't even begin to imagine. They are not only running from horror but they are also running towards freedom. That requires hope and faith. 
Kids instinctively run to safety or help when they are stranded in a place that they don't recognize.  The world may not be like they expected, sometimes it is full of hate and sorrow. The Nazis not only took away the Jews' religion, but they also took away their peace. Kids today are seeing racism and injustice up close; they’re seeing people killing others just because one person believes they are better.  They see the same hate as the kids who lived during the Holocaust. Kids are running towards hope. 


Cameron Wells

Cape Henry Collegiate
Mr. Warden


Cutting Binds

This drawing is about how the Jews were put in concentration camps that were surrounded by barbed wire. The pliers, which have an American flag on the handle, represent the Americans setting the Jews free. 


Brooke Yeany

Cape Henry Collegiate
Ms. Eden


Through the Window

The inspiration behind my artwork was how the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we interact with our friends and family. I go to a private school where learning remained in-person, and I realized how lucky I am to be able to go to school. When I think about other people in states that are still under stricter circumstances, it makes me feel sad.