By Lauren Richardson '16
Throughout the halls of the Middle School buildings on the Drake campus, numerous works of art can be seen decorating the walls. They can be found in the stairwells of the 7th and 8th grade building, in the administrative offices and library, and outside of classrooms. While all of these works are student creations, often the most striking (and largest) pieces are from the Legacy Project series. An ongoing student tradition, the Legacy Project is a collaborative art project completed by 8th graders each year. The theme, media, and technique for each year’s project is developed entirely by the students, thus making every project unique to the class that creates it. From tile mosaics, to painted canvases, to felted tapestries, each Legacy Project displays the talent, creativity, and personality of the individual parts that make up the whole of the 8th grade class. The completed Legacy Projects are displayed for all to enjoy in the halls of the Middle School, serving as inspiration for future students as they continue their academic and artistic endeavors at Randolph.
Each Legacy Project follows a theme, which acts as a guide for the students when they create their piece of the Project. Always positive and uplifting, the chosen theme is tied to the students’ experiences thus far, as well as to their hopes for the future in the Upper School and beyond. This year’s Legacy Project was particularly unique, just as the student experience of the past year has been unique.
As classrooms quickly emptied and campus went abruptly quiet, the Legacy Project that was started by the Class of 2024 was left unfinished. But despite all of the sudden changes and adaptations that were made in the past year, Middle School students were still able to create something beautiful: perhaps the most inspiring and unique Legacy Project to date. The students in the Classes of 2024 and 2025 agreed to combine their efforts to complete the previously unfinished project and create a collaborative work demonstrating not only their artistic talent, but also their determination to keep the Legacy Project tradition alive.
“The work reflects the spirit of comradery that exists between our students and demonstrates how working together for a common cause can create something meaningful and encouraging, despite circumstances out of our control,” shares Middle School Visual Art Teacher Vinchenza Sweet.
The resulting piece is truly stunning and inspiring: a needle-felted tapestry depicting a tree, stretching upwards with a vibrant display of felted leaves. Symbolizing the growth and steady resiliency of the students in both classes, this piece will surely be remembered and observed as a wonderful display of Randolph students’ unwavering strength and positivity despite such a difficult year.