Beasley Fourth Graders Draw Black Light Studio Self-Portraits

Written by Sarah Garner, Lower School Visual Arts Teacher

This semester, fourth-grade artists had the unique opportunity to transform the art studio into a black light studio to create self-portraits. The artists learned about the Fauvist movement which, according to The Met Museum website, “was the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. The Fauve painters were the first to break with Impressionism as well as with older, traditional methods of perception. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the tube.” Beasley fourth graders drew inspiration from artists in history from the French word “wild beasts” to draw self-portraits with thick, bold lines and bright colors painted with energetic lines and texture.

Painting in a dark studio with black lights provided an alternative perspective to painting in the light. The portraits take on a very different appearance when viewed in natural light versus black light.

Students analyzed the different feelings between painting in the light and dark and wrote inspirational quotes about the two opposing forces that exist together. They developed thought-provoking ideas, like this quote written by Meira H. ’30, “Dark stands out when it is by light and light stands out when dark is near. Even though they are opposites they work together.” Ahmed B ’30 wrote, “You can see things differently in light or in the dark. It’s just like the opposite perspective.” Sana R. ’30 reflected, “You can always find light even in the darkest of times. When it seems dark, find light. The light will greet you like an old friend.”

To help brighten your day, please enjoy the three music videos below, one from each class, which the students helped create to make their portraits come alive in the light and dark along with their inspirational quotes!