Student Identity Project

This semester Mr. Norris and his class decided to explore heritage and identity through the form of visual arts and poetics. Students produced self-portraits and poems to explore what parts of themselves make up their identity. Have a look at some of our students' artwork and inspiration behind their brilliant pieces in this article. 



Perpetua Joseph and her Self Portrait. 

This is my self-portrait. I included Haiti in it because that is where I'm from. Our country's motto 'L'union Fait La Force', which means 'with unity makes strength,' a saying I truly believe in and guides me in what I want to do with my life. Together we can achieve change and the pain of one person is the pain of everyone. We need to work together to make a difference. That's what I think our motto represents. This is why i have included the stephoscope, because, for me, it represents what I want to do in my career and that is to become a nurse. I want to be a nurse to fulfill my goals to end the suffering of everyone and live by the motto of Haiti. There are not many nurses in Haiti, some of my family are in the medical field, so I want to follow in their footsteps. The trees in my background represent nature in my country, there are so many beautiful green landscapes in Haiti.  


Amalia Lorenzo and her Self Portrait 

My portrait represents all of my beliefs and my future. The colourfulness of my painting is like the traditional attire that we wear in my hometown, Huehuetenango in Guatemala. We call it trajes de todos santos cuchumatan. I love the vibrant colours in the outfit and I feel that it really represents me and all that I stand for. The symbol on the top left is a symbol from the Mayan calendar corresponding to my birthday. The symbol is called Batz, which means strong monkey. The symbol represents life, destiny and infinity. The symbol is part of the Mayan Cosmovision belief, which interprets the relationship between human beings, their surroundings and the universe.  On the right you can see the feminist symbol. I included this symbol because my community back home is full of feminists. In Huehuetenango, I was part of a women's group that worked to advocate for women's rights. I'd like to participate in feminist groups here in Boston! The musical notes are included because I love music, I play the Marimba a little. 



Ariel Pineda and his Self Portrait 

I loved creating this portrait because I feel happy to share my identity and culture in this way. The paw print in my self-portrait represents my love of dogs. When I was little, my grandmother gave me a puppy and since then I have always loved dogs. I wish I could have a dog here where I live in Dorchester. The flag next to the paw is my country's, Guatemala. The blue in the flag represents the ocean. I really love water, so the flag means a lot to me. On the left is a representation of summer. I love that season, it was the season I was born in. I put soccer balls in my portrait because I am a big fan. I love to play soccer and sometimes play here in Boston from time to time. I want to be able to play soccer a lot more! 



Rachell Marte and her Self Portrait 

My portrait is split in two, a picture of me on the left and then my life on the right. The panda represents me as a person. The best word to describe my relationship with the panda is 'Darling'. The Flag is of my country, the Dominican Republic. The globe represents all the countries I've been to, I love to travel the world and take pictures wherever I go. The coffee cup is there because I love to drink coffee! The musical notes represent my love of music. My favourite genre of music is Christian, Waymaker is my favourite. Faith is a big part of my life. I go to the Iglesia regularly in East Boston. 


Esmirna Martinez and her Self Portrait 

The background of the portrait is of a sunset. The colours of sunsets make me feel peaceful and I'm a big fan of beaches. My glasses have my country in them, the Dominican Republic. Below the flag are people dancing. I love dancing and it's such a big part of our culture. When I was a toddler, I would dance at the Carnaval. The picture of the person and the plane represent my aspirations. I would really love to become a flight attendant after I finish. The pictures of the people below represent my family. Family is very important to me! I have a little brother and an older sister both here in the States.