Enter to WIN: It’s Spooky Season at the High, and We Want to See Your Halloween DIYs

High Museum of Art
Oct 10 · 6 min read

Here at the High Museum of Art, we’re getting into the Halloween spirit.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, and Kristen Brown, Communications Assistant, High Museum of Art

A woman in a Roy Lichtenstein-inspired costume, a woman in a spooky veil, and a man dressed like a Finster painting.
A woman in a Roy Lichtenstein-inspired costume, a woman in a spooky veil, and a man dressed like a Finster painting.

Sure, candy is nice, but if you ask us, the fun of Halloween is in crafting a fantastic costume. It’s an excuse to get artistic, create something, and transform yourself into someone (or something) else.

We know we have tons of creative followers out there, so now’s your time to shine: we’re hosting a #HighArtHalloween Costume Contest with a special prize — a year-long Dual/Family Membership to the High Museum!

How to Enter the #HighArtHalloween Costume Contest
To enter the contest, post a photo of your art-related* costume on Instagram, and use the hashtag #HighArtHalloween, and tag @HighMuseumofArt. Post and tag your photo by November 3. We’ll announce the winner on November 5. (FYI, your account must be public for us to see your entry!)

*What do we mean by an “art-related” costume?
· Your costume is inspired by a work of art (works from the High are encouraged!)
· OR your costume references art history or a style of art
· OR you’re dressed as an artist
· OR you wear your costume to the High and take a photo with an artwork

The Prize
Candy! Just kidding.

The winner will receive one Dual/Family Membership to the High Museum of Art. That means free admission to the Museum every day, including entrance to regular programs like HIGH Frequency Friday, Friday Jazz, Toddler Thursday, artist and curator talks, and more. Visit the High’s Membership page for more details on your membership benefits. Already a member? Enter to win a Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibition catalogue and four guest passes to the Museum.

And now, for some inspiration, we put together some of our own #HighArtHalloween DIY looks! Check them out below and explore our collection to get the ideas flowing.

Look 1: Lichtenstein’s Comic Book Characters

Roy Lichtenstein copied imagery from advertisements and comic books to make his early paintings, helping originate the Pop Art movement. Playing with the clichés of commercial printed culture, Lichtenstein often exaggerated graphic lines, reduced color palettes to primaries, and parodied trite narratives by further dramatizing the text in speech bubbles.

Our comic book beauty posed in front of Lichtenstein’s dimension-defying House III, 1997, fabricated 2002. For an action shot, check out Sweet Dreams, Baby, 1965.

Get the Look:
Gather your materials (light blue face paint, black face paint or eyeliner, white face paint or eyeliner, an angled brush, red lipstick, mascara, bright eyeshadow, a blue or yellow wig, primary-colored clothing, white foamcore, a box cutter, a marker, box tape, and a large popsicle stick).

A young black woman with comic style makeup and a blue wig holds a speech bubble saying “Oh, Jeff, I love you, too but…”.
A young black woman with comic style makeup and a blue wig holds a speech bubble saying “Oh, Jeff, I love you, too but…”.
Oh, Jeff…

Use black eyeliner to fill in your eyebrows and tilt the inner corners of your eyebrows upward for a worried look. Apply bright eyeshadow and outline your entire eyelid in black. Add thick, winged eyeliner that suggests long lashes. Apply mascara or fake eyelashes. Paint and outline a light blue puddle of tears under your eye. Apply red lipstick and outline with black. Draw black expression lines between your brows and add other touches, like emphasis lines on your cheekbones, chin, or nose. Finally, use your white paint to add highlights to your lips and tears. Wear a wig and bright clothing. (The makeup is a bit involved, so you might want to check out a tutorial video.)

For a speech bubble prop, trace a plate onto foamcore and use a box cutter to cut it out. Write your desired message and outline the bubble with marker. Add a popsicle stick for easy carrying. Voilà, you’re a living comic!

Make it Picture Perfect:
Head to the High’s lawn and take a photo with the perfect backdrop — Lichtenstein’s House III! That’s a no-brainer.

Look 2: Laughlin’s Ghostly Apparitions

Clarence John Laughlin often set the scenes for his Southern Gothic photographs in New Orleans’s cemeteries or abandoned plantations. In his visual world, shadowy figures abscond behind tombstones, foggy windows, and crumbling walls. Spanish moss drapes spectral tree limbs while macabre, veiled women lurk in surreal settings. Laughlin also used experimental photographic techniques to create strange and unreal effects.

Laughlin often used experimental techniques to alter his photographs. Even if you’re not developing your own film, you can still go to town experimenting with Photoshop. The Human and The Inhuman, 1941, printed 1981; “Haveth Childers Everywhere”, 1946, printed 1979; Our veiled Laughlin lady

Get the Look:
This ensemble is simple. You’re going for a haunting look, so gather anything old-fashioned, lacy, or black. Long skirts, hoods, and veils are encouraged. Feel free to add some props to finish the look. Have any puppets, decapitated dolls, or stray heads? Grab those. Or pose holding a small, ornate picture frame with an old photo inside.

Make it Picture Perfect:
We suggest gathering inspiration in the High’s exhibition Strange Light: The Photography of Clarence John Laughlin (on view through November 10, 2019). Once you have your look together, don your ghostly garb and head to Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery. Their Victorian-style mausoleums make for particularly jaw-dropping architectural backdrops for black-and-white photography.

New to Oakland? Check out their upcoming events, including the Run Like Hell 5K happening this weekend on October 12, 2019.

Look 3: Finster’s Graphic Folks

We modeled our costume after Howard on a Mule, which depicts “The Man of Visions” himself astride a mule, covered with gospel quotes and spiritual exhortations. Elvis at Three, 1990; Our Finster-man DIY; Howard on a Mule, ca. 1976

After receiving a vision from God in 1976 commanding him to preach in paint, Howard Finster created more than 46,000 artworks, including a whole world of outlined figures he cut from plywood and painted. Finster outlined his painted forms with black or white lines, and he frequently hand-painted texts onto them expressing his ideas about God and the nature of life.

For our Finsterite, we recreated The Reverend Howard Finster’s Hat, ca. 1976, using a felt fedora and a marker.

Get the Look:
Gather your materials (black face paint or eyeliner, a black marker, a hat or other prop, and some clothing you don’t mind drawing on). Use the marker to outline all the seams on your clothing. Cover your hat with faces, stars, angels, and plenty of words. Use black face paint or eyeliner to outline your facial features, including your eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, and jawline — and don’t forget those characteristic eyelashes!

Make it Picture Perfect:
The High has the largest public collection of Finster’s work outside of Paradise Garden, so head to our Finster galleries for the perfect photo opp.

High Museum of Art

Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

High Museum of Art

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The High is the Southeast’s leading art museum, bringing creativity to your everyday. Our collections, exhibitions, and programs are always here for you.

High Museum of Art

Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

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