Let’s visit Halloween of the past. Why? Because Halloween has so many creative opportunities.
Now, as an art teacher, I was always called the creative person in the house. But, it turns out, my husband’s creative side was just laying dormant until we had kids and until Halloween. It had to do with a deficit in his childhood. His costumes, apparently, were last-minute improvisations despite his secret longings for an elaborate show-stopper creation. So, when our first child was old enough to utter “Pocahontas,” he dug out my five-dollar yard sale sewing machine and dusted off his middle school sewing skills. He bought a pattern and went to work. I contributed a little stenciling, and our Native American was thrilled. Next year it was a witch, fabricating the hat from scratch. Then Princess Amidala. The old five-dollar sewing machine was retired in favor of a brand new Cadillac of sewing machines. By then, child two was born, and in no time, she was uttering “Purple Kitty” for her Halloween request, and it was as good as sewn. There were whole Octobers I didn’t see my husband except for bent over the sewing machine.
I confess I never, as a high school teacher, dressed up in my classroom. It was usually discouraged in most of my schools. However, I marveled over the creativity of my fellow art teachers who shared their costumes on social media. What an opportunity for art history to come alive! With permission, I am sharing some costumes from art rooms everywhere for your inspiration.
From top to bottom and left to right:
Jenn Postma as Yayoi Kusama
Jennifer Parriigan as the Mona Lisa
Kaitlyn Kennedy as Andy Warhol
Marysa Marderosian as Bob Ross (apparently, she took it to new levels by adding hair chest using spirit gum and some wig trimmings. She reports it as rather itchy, though)
Mia McNaughton as Banksy’s retitled Love is in the Bin ( In the resource section, I am linking a good YouTube Video that details the story, and here is a good conversation starter for your classroom).
Presley Sutton as Pop Art
Ashley Pierce Love feminine twist on René Magritte’s The Son of Man
Inspired by Day of the Dead (dia de Los Muertos) is Catherine Hamrick.
Abbie Pavlov-Bailey went as spilled paint.
Joni Taylor teams up with her fellow art teacher to recreate the iconic American Gothic painting by Grant Wood.
Art Teacher Deb Sculptress celebrated Halloween by dressing up and a Frida Kahlo self-portrait.
Loudoun’s art teacher, Jennifer Baxter, gets into the Halloween spirit with famous painting-inspired costumes, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, and Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait.
Erica Fiebert Weisfeiner as Van Gough.
Lisa Lynn poses at Rosie The Riveter.
Victoria Jade won the Halloween costume contest at her school as Van Gough.
For my design teachers, find these Design-Inspired costumes like the Pantone ones!
Need an idea for you or your department? How about Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans? Directions HERE.
Beth Crook de Valdez gets surrealistic dressed up as Salvador Dali.