JPPSS Arts Students Honor Veterans with Portraits at National WWII Museum


Combining a vibrant living history lesson with a pallet of patriotism, talented visual arts students from nine Jefferson Parish Public Schools have painted a series of current and former veterans’ portraits which will be on display in the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans as part of the museum’s annual week-long Veterans Day celebration.

A reception for students, families, and veterans showcasing the student was held at the US Freedom Pavilion at the National WWII Museum on Monday, November 5.

Inspired by the portraits of veterans done by former President George Bush and a similar project done by an elementary school in New York, JPPSS teachers Leslie Dubroc, Metairie Academy, and Julie Quirk, John Ehret High, coordinated with fellow teachers and the museum to plan the student lessons and exhibit. Lessons included writing exercises, visits to the museum, reaching out to meet and interview veterans, classroom visits by veterans, learning about portrait painting, and the actual creation of the portraits.

The project was funded through a grant by the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, which awarded eight JPPSS schools (John Ehret High, Metairie Academy, Meisler Middle, Fisher Middle-High School, Woods Elementary, Riviere Elementary, Thomas Jefferson High and Harris Middle). Each school was awarded about $1,000 for art supplies. Other schools represented at the exhibit are Patrick F. Taylor Academy, Haynes Academy, and Bonnabel Magnet Academy High.

Dubroc said she and Quirk felt the project, which they hope to recreate annually, could create an amazing legacy for the JPPSS Talented Visual Arts program. “Seeing the connection my kids have made with the veterans they have met and the kids realizing that the people they are painting have a history and a lot of wisdom to share, this project will become an amazing memory we will all cherish.”