Artist sketches her daughter’s entire senior class.
Kyla Alexander, 2017 Holland Hall graduate, receives her custom portrait at Baccalaureate on May 23.
They say eyes are the window to the soul, but to artist Amy Whitaker, the face tells a person’s story. That story is precisely what she wanted to share by sketching portraits of all 81 students in her daughter’s Holland Hall graduating class and donating the artwork to their families.
A self-taught artist who works in a variety of media, Tanzanian-born Whitaker committed over 400 hours to the sketches. But she knew what she was signing up for: She drew similar portraits for her son’s 2015 graduating classmates.
For Whitaker, the student portraits were “a way to honor the students and families I’ve come to know over the years,” she says. “It was kind of like a thank-you.”
Beth Goddard is the mother of 2017 Holland Hall graduate Ellen. “I love that Amy beautifully portrayed not only Ellen’s physical representation, but her joy and spirit, as well,” Goddard says. “Amy works from each student’s senior picture, so she captures the anticipation and excitement the kids were feeling as they began their senior year.”
The generous Whitaker also has a project called “Works of HeART,” through which she sketches portraits for any Oklahoma family who has lost someone in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to preserve and honor their legacy.
Whether it’s her portraits of students starting out in the world or Oklahomans who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Whitaker’s artistic talents capture significant memories for her subjects’ loved ones.