THE PORTRAIT PROJECT
March 1 - 28, 2023
The Portrait Project is a series of Self Portraits created by extraordinary students
with unique special needs and abilities in Randi Bartee's classes at Ramona High School.
Facilitated by Magnet Coordinator and Mosaic Artist, Erin Maroufkhani, the goal is
to promote freedom of expression, joy and creativity in each student as they navigate
the process of painting and assembling their portraits.
At the beginning of the project, each student was sent home with a plastic gallon
bag and an assignment to collect items that are normally thrown away. Students collected
small plastic toys, puzzle pieces, beads, buttons, plastic bottle caps, lids, gems,
marbles, old pencils, crayons, and old jewelry. As a group, the students sorted the
recycled materials into bins, and in these portraits, each recycled piece received
a new life.
Students were photographed, their images were projected onto wood panels, and they
began painting their self portraits. In the process of painting, students laughed,
told stories, and gained independence, confidence, and self-esteem in their work as
artists. Once their portraits were painted, students used hot glue guns to affix the
found objects onto their portraits. Students who needed assistance were graciously
aided by the amazing team of super-heroes at Ramona, who include: Cindy Medinilla,
Thien Pham, Stephanie Rodriguez, Michael Baum, Monique Diaz, Lyanne Enyeart, Natallie
Ugarte, Sandy Caricato, Emily Frei, Roxanne Garcia, Isabel Lopez, Anabella Tucker,
Amber Graham, Kim Soto and Frances Casiano. Please enjoy the recycled-material mosaics
of our talented and fabulous student artists!
Riverside Community College District is committed to providing access and reasonable
accommodations to all District programs and activities. Accommodations for persons
with disabilities may be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-328-3879.
Erin Maroufkhani is the Magnet Coordinator at her alma mater, Ramona High School.
She is a mother, wife, teacher and mosaic artist. Erin taught English and Theatre
at Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet for Los Angeles Unified School District from
2014-2020, and was honored to receive the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce Teacher
of the Year Award in 2017. Together with her parents, artists Cathy and Greg Maxwell,
she created the National Wall of Respect Mosaic Mural in Riverside, which celebrates
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and special needs. Erin
was honored to co-organize and create Riverside's Rise! Mosaic Mural in 2021 and
Ramona High School's Unity Mosaic Mural in 2022. Her dream is to continue creating
community-based artwork that teaches, inspires and brings us all closer together.
Working with Randi Bartee and her student artists has been a great honor.