Middle School Students Create Art Installation to Honor Tree of Life Victims

A group of eighth-grade students at Harrison Middle School created a project to serve as a tribute to the victims of the Tree of Life shooting as well as the international Butterfly Project honoring children who were lost in the Holocaust. The students created a large art installation, which was unveiled on Friday, December 7th. The project was spearheaded by Daniel Shaner in collaboration with fellow teachers Ms. Rogiero, Ms.Hawk, and Mr. London.

According to Mr. Shaner, students wanted to do something as a tribute for the victims of the Tree of Life shooting inspired by the International Butterfly Project, which intends to create one ceramic butterfly for each of the 1.5 million children who were lost to the Holocaust.

The installation is an 8 foot by 8 foot work of art with over 200 paper butterflies created by the eighth-graders, placed in the shape of a large tree. On top of the paper butterflies are 140 ceramic butterflies painted by the students. Eleven of those butterflies are shown flying off of the tree, in recognition of the eleven lives that were lost in the shooting. The tree itself was designed by Ms. Rogierio (art teacher), and the frame was built by Mr. London (industrial arts).

During Friday's unveiling ceremony, the eighth grade chorus performed two songs, one a choral piece in English with individual soloists singing in Hebrew, and one a solo piece sung completely in Hebrew by an eighth-grade student. Ms. Hawk has prepared her chorus members for the event.