SAAC is hosting a new fun and colorful exhibit in the Lobby Gallery done in conjunction with the Artist in Education program and Washington Middle School art department. The show, entitled “Self Portraits”, will hang through December 20, 2020.

Lisa Burton Tarver, AIE artist, collaborated with Brinkley Aycock, art teacher at Washington Middle School for this very insightful project. Tarver had done this project a couple of years ago at the high school and it was such fun for the kids that she wanted to recreate it with the fifth and sixth grade art students. She began this project last year in the late fall, going to help the art class two or three times a week. It took a couple of months to finish and get it all together and then COVID hit and everything came to an abrupt halt. “I promised the kids that their art would hang at SAAC,” said Tarver. “It just took a little longer than we thought, with everything being slow due to COVID. I wanted them to see their work hanging in the gallery because it is all so fabulous and fun. Seeing their own art in an exhibit is so good for their confidence and might spur them on to try some more!”

Students artwork by Lilly Speer, Kerrigan Shelton, Echo Shields, Zoey Walker, Ahrian Deasey, Kingston Williams, Tionna Hicks, ZaKyron Brock, Henry Huana, Sophie Crisalli, Janiya Holmes, Jakhius Loyd, Carmyn Morreal, MaKayla Miller, ZiKayven Williams, Jarriah Dixon, Kyzaria Lincoln, Ashanti Gibson, Amarrion Robinson, Messiah Reed, and Michael McLuse.

This progressive project began with Tarver taking a portrait type photograph of the student, the student drew a sketch of themselves from the photograph and then painted their self-portrait from the sketch. The photograph and sketch hang next to the painted version so the viewer can see the fascinating progression of the project.

“This is a very self-exploratory thing for the kids and they did such a good job. Some of them saw themselves in a different way after they started painting and changed their hairstyles and other features to what they prefer. One student even added rhinestone earrings to his portrait to show off his pierced ears. They really personalized each one. I am so proud of their hard work. It really paid off big! I’m so glad the portraits are finally hanging and they can all some see them now.”


Gallery viewing hours at SAAC are Monday- Friday, 9:00-5:00. Masking is required and social distancing practiced, as well as sign in. For more information about “Self Portraits”, please call the office at 870-862-5474.