Assignment: Education - Update: Compassion Project

6,000 La Crosse students working on a common art project

Assignment: Education - Update: Compassion Project

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Sixth grader Chia Mee Yang is creating a meaningful piece of art.

"I was just doing a person who lives in a really dark world and needs help," said Yang.

The idea of helping someone is being used by this Lincoln Middle School student to illustrate what compassion might look like as part of the La Crosse Compassion Project.

"I feel like I see a lot of lonely people at school," said Yang. "So, I just want them to, if they need help, to go find help."

"There's a lot of really good, deep stories," said Bethany Nugent, La Crosse School District art teacher. "And a lot of really heart-warming ideas coming out of the project."

Every student in the district started putting their thoughts about compassion on a 6 inch by 6 inch canvas this fall.

"We're about a quarter of the way done so far," said Nugent.

As the students finish their meaningful masterpieces, Photographer Tad Meddaugh, owner of The Studio in downtown La Crosse, is capturing their beauty.

"This is just the start," said Meddaugh.

Meddaugh is volunteering his time to photograph every piece of art so the students' work can be displayed online.

"We'll take them back to The Studio and color correct them as a whole," said Meddaugh, "and convert them from raw to a JPEG so that they'll have their finest quality to use on their website."

The website will be a place where these students can display their artistic message of compassion with the world.

"I think it's going to be really unique to see it and I think it will be really satisfying," said Meddaugh.

Just as satisfying as the virtual exhibit will be the physical one.

"We're going to put 12,000 holes in the walls of The Pump House," said Nugent.

All 6,000 squares will be on display in the downtown La Crosse art museum for public viewing beginning in May.

"I think it's going to show them that the students know what compassion is," said Yang.

And maybe even inspire the community to think about what compassion looks like.

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