Servite paints Holocaust tribute

Listening to Holocaust survivors inspires students to translate tragedy into art.


Kristin Berardino

From Left to Right: Ian Ward, Scott Lee, Matt Perez, Father Jerry

By Anthony Pinel

The Holocaust changed the course of history. During World War II, more than 5 million Jews perished under the rule of one leader, Adolf Hitler. This tragic era is remembered for its brutal and relentless bloodshed. But along with the liberation of the Jews on September 2, 1945 came the liberation of stories and experiences that would echo into the future.

From the end of World War II to the present day, Holocaust survivors have shared their powerful stories to help fill the world with hope after tragedy. These stories have been expressed through many different forms: literature, music and art. In Ms. Berardino’s drawing class at Servite, art was used to express the pain and sorrow felt during this dark period.

The work of three Servite students–Matthew Perez, Ian Ward, and Sangjoon (Scott) Lee–was selected to be submitted to the 16th Annual Holocaust and Art Writing Contest, hosted by Chapman University. Through this contest, everyday high school students were able to utilize their creative skills to shed light on events that filled the world with despair.

Out of 200 participating schools, Scott Lee took second place and Matt Perez took third in the final overall competition. On Friday March 5th, both students attended the awards ceremony at Chapman University along with their mentor and teacher, Ms. Berardino.

“During the Holocaust Project, it wasn’t so much that I re-learned the subject matter of the Holocaust. But it was like recreating it through the eyes of a survivor,” said Ian Ward. “I learned more of the emotional side of this event. Listening to these survivors helped me to see what their experience was like, and I was able to translate that onto a blank canvas.”