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

Senior Division - S through Z

Ethan Schiffman | Lily Schutte | Nolan Sharp | Marin Soderberg | Jillian Somers | Reagan Szakaly | Amy Wang | Peyton Waters 

Ethan Schiffman

High Bluff Academy (CA)
Ms. Sullivan


Do You Hear Me Now?

For this piece, I chose to create colorful photo images of Naomi Osaka during the 2020 US Open. Before each of her seven matches, Naomi wore a mask honoring black victims of police brutality. Naomi uses her platform as a world-famous tennis athlete to promote “Black Lives Matter” and to draw attention to racial injustice. Osaka was named 2020 Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. Her activism has inspired how we as students and athletes can collectively make an impact by speaking out about social issues. Osaka stated, "Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman.” Naomi has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. Since 2014, thousands of black lives have been victims of police violence. The typed names included in this artwork represent just a small portion of those killed by the police.  

Lily Schutte

Princess Anne High School
Ms. Schutte


Walking Away from the Woman

This artwork is representative of all the misogyny and sexism that women face in their lives, no matter how they live it. As a woman, being too feminine or not feminine enough is frowned upon, and this work is about rewriting the narrative that men have written in stone for so many years. This art is supposed to show that as a woman, I fight for my rights and respect on a day-to-day basis, and I use my womanhood to fight against social injustice. Women are strong, delicate, feminine, masculine, or whatever they want to be because women are capable. 

Nolan Sharp

Cape Henry Collegiate
Mr. Warden



This piece of art shows how, when someone is labeled, it can become their identity. In the Holocaust, once given their number for identification, Jews were stripped of all other humanistic qualities to identify them, including their name. Placing an identification number right in the middle of a face shows that number truly becoming their identity. This piece is a part of the second activity because it uses the Holocaust to show that even today, our labels and the stereotypes we are assigned can be used to identify us and strip away our humanity. 

Marin Soderberg

Norfolk Academy
Ms. Denson


Flying Hope

The English writer Charles Dickens once intelligently declared, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." Sometimes the most appalling things are masked by faces of hope. Flying Hope is an emotional depiction of a Jewish child peering through the barbed fence of his concentration camp. Although the little boy is feeble and malnourished, he clings to his last thread of hope as the places of allied forces fly overhead. Mirroring the inspirational words of Charles Dickens, the young child looks toward freedom and hope in a time of imprisonment and despair. 

Jillian Somers

Cape Henry Collegiate
Mr. Warden


Inequality of the World

The idea behind my artwork was the known thought that the world does not supply an equal amount of rights to all. This means that because of differences, people are treated differently, corrupting mankind. Each day people mess up; it is inevitable not to. But to deliberately treat others poorly due to childish reasons, or no reasons at all, are what pull the world apart. Differences should be what brings the world together, but in our world, it seems to be the opposite. In my peace, I am showing the world ruining over the blowing of equality, being a fist. The fist is in red to display that it is broken, equality is broken. The more ruin that goes on, the worse the world will become. We are now into 2021. As everyone can agree, 2020 was one of the worst years in history, so together we must prevent 2021 from being the same. 

Reagan Szakaly

Norfolk Academy
Ms. Denson


RGB, Friend to Some, Advocate to All 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second female associate justice appointed to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Having spent much of her time advocating for women's rights and gender equality, Ginsburg took crucial steps to eliminate gender discrimination. The piece I created is a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, featuring her notorious dissent collar. She wore the collar to represent her disapproval of decisions made by the Supreme Court and the public. Famously, Ginsburg wore her dissent collar the day after President Trump's 2016 inauguration. The wings surrounding her symbolize hope and change. The blue color throughout the painting represents inspiration and wisdom, which Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented and advocated for. 

Amy Wang

Albemarle High School
Ms. Newman


A Year in Reflection

This past year we experienced a close election, democracy was challenged, and we saw the devastating effects of climate change. We also lost important figures and millions of innocent lives to the pandemic and the fight for change. However, those lives lost live on as inspirations to always improve the world and never be silenced. I depicted many of the events and figures of this chaotic and depressing year. However, 2020 was also the dawn of a brighter future ahead as many fought and continue to fight for justice, equality, and freedom. The peace dove with a ribbon woven through is a symbol for the future. I hope my artwork records this time in history as a period of hope and change. When we look back, we will be reminded and proud of the efforts it took to make the world a better place. 

Peyton Waters

Granby High School
Ms. Taylor-Martin


Another Monday

I thought the best witness to my time in history is the more realistic side for me: the average one. While in school during quarantine, I haven't had to deal with any drama or craziness, but rather day-to-day work and papers with the same screen in front of me. I portrayed this through different days of various assignments and notebooks. For one, I took a photo of the work I had during math class, with my protractor, math notes, and graph pulled up on the computer. Another day I took a photo of my English work and textbook. I thought it would be fitting to take my photos from my phone, in a non-formal way, just like how life is now for all of us. I then put the photos in a collage app and moved things around as desired. The illuminated bubble in color is my break from the typical dullness. Sudoku puzzles are one of my favorite after-school activities to pass the time. This is why I wanted it to stand out among the other gray and lifeless bubbles. When it comes to the times we're going through now and in the future, we still need to do the mundane chores and assignments all the same.