It started out as a project assignment for her AP Photography class at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. The finished product now has found a home at the Summit County Juvenile Court.
Emily Wisniewski was a senior last school year. When she received the assignment, she immediately thought about a short film she saw entitled, "Last Shot," where a broken, discarded camera continued to take pictures and, in the end, all of the photos converged to make a picture of the little girl who threw it away. Armed with that inspiration, Emily decided to make a mosaic of photographs transform into a picture of her then-2-year-old cousin.
All of the photos are those of Emily’s family and friends who were, at first, camera-shy until she explained why and how she wanted to use the photos, and then, they were more than willing subjects.
Emily then began the painstaking process of cutting each individual photograph. She then placed each photo on poster board and affixed each one with spray glue.
"When that was finished, I took an enlarged, photo-shopped picture of my cousin and overlaid it on top of all the smaller pictures that I was able to collect," said Emily. "I was really pleased with the how the color in the larger photo blended with the pictures I had placed on the poster board."
It was, figuratively and literally, a big project. In the end, it measured 6 feet by 8 feet. It was too large to turn in to her class, so she took a video and photographs of her engaged in the creative process that she turned in with the final portfolio. She received a 4 out of a possible 5 grade.
"I don’t consider myself a big artist, but when I put my mind to it, I truly made something that I am very proud of," she said.
With the project concluded, there was another issue: what to do with such a large piece of art?
"I knew I wanted to donate it somewhere that it could be seen by teens and kids of all ages," stated Emily, now a student at The University of Akron. "I wanted to share it with others."
Her family knew Judge Linda Teodosio, and the Juvenile Court, she thought, was the perfect place. Needless to say, the work, called "For a Child," was gratefully received.
"On its own merits, it is worthy of display just for its imagery and imagination. But the subtext of the piece; that it takes so many people to help shape one child resonates with all of us at Juvenile Court," said Judge Teodosio. "Emily’s artwork is a beautiful reminder of that."
With financial assistance from the Court’s Women’s Board, the portrait was framed and it is now placed in the second floor lobby on the Juvenile Court Center.