New Wave

Self portrait by Sophia Beck

A compelling self-portrait by eighth grader Sophia Beck was among the 49 artworks (out of 177 submissions) that debuted last month for this season’s ArtScape 2018. Banners will adorn lampposts downtown and on auxiliary streets in the second installment of the public art project. Beck is the first artist under 18 whose work will be exhibited in the community-wide endeavor, confirms her art teacher, Costanza Knight.

The assignment was to paint a self portrait in the style of Van Gogh, Matisse, Frida Kahlo, mid-century modernist Susan Rothenberg, or photo-realist portraitist Chuck Close. “I chose Van Gogh because he’s always been a big interest in my life, from his life story to his art style,” says Beck. The vivid, kelly-green background swirls in Beck’s self portrait nod to “Starry Night,” but her closer capture of the master’s style is in the figure’s alert, pensive expression and jauntily outlined clothing details. The bowtie, asymmetrical curls, and Bohemian-looking coat complete the scheme.

“I always enjoyed drawing and painting at home,” says Beck. “Art class was always my favorite class. I can’t think of a specific moment [when I decided to be an artist] — I think it was more of an undiscussed agreement with myself.”

Sophia Beck’s painting will hang outside Art on 4th Gallery & Studio (125 4th Ave. West). For more information, see or ArtScape Hendersonville on Facebook.

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