TACL Student Responses to Bolick's "Portrait #24"

School Students in the After School Program at Westwood Elementary engaged in many discussions about the Pittsburgh artist, and former Pittsburgh Public School teacher, Daniel Bolick. Their teacher, Susan Carlin, encouraged them to take a closer look at Bolick s Portrait #24 that is hanging on the wall in her classroom. Carlin adopted this acrylic painting, and three others, for Westwood student enjoyment and appreciation from a unique art collection started in 1916 by the Friends of Art for the students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.Principal, Denise Littles-Cullens, and teacher, Susan Carlin, agreed to meet with Dr. Patricia A. Sheahan, arts educator and a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, to discuss a project whereby a group of students would take a closer look at original, regional art from the Friends of Art Collection and participate in a writing experience as well as an artistic response.

Artist Name: Bolick, Daniel
Title: Portrait #24
F.O.A Purchase Award Date: 2007
After School 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Students
Critical and Artistic Response to Friends of Art Collection 2012: Pittsburgh Westwood K-8
Principal, Denise Littles-Cullens
Art Teacher, Susan Carlin


Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Jaclynn K.
Daniel Bolick is an artist who painted portraits of many people. He used acrylic and latex paint in his portraits. Bolick painted many different subjects which portrayed many emotions. He was an art teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for many years, and he traveled all over the world looking for inspiration.

Bolick painted Portrait #24. The media that he used to create this very colorful portrait was acrylic paint. The subject of Portrait #24 is a young street fighter from Nicaragua. I believe that this is a wonderful piece. I like it because there is a lot to look at when viewing it. I really like the look of the splatter paint technique used by Bolick. I enjoy the artists lively use of color. It seems that most of the subjects Bolick paints are sad.

I believe that the message that Mr. Bolick is trying to portray in Portrait #24 is Help me. Maybe the artist feels as if the subject is reaching out for help. This young person seems very sad. I can relate to this subject because I too feel like a young warrior when I am playing sports.


Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Olivia J.
Pittsburgh artist, Dan Bolick, was a former teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He enjoyed 39 years of working in the classroom before retirement. He then began to concentrate on his own artwork. Bolick painted with acrylic paints, and he mainly painted portraits. He is an Associated Artist of Pittsburgh who creates many portraits of individuals who are experiencing great sadness and despair, and the use of color in his portraits helps show these extreme feelings. Bolick s painting, titled, Portrait #24, is only one of many portraits.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Jeremiah R.Dan Bolick is a veteran art teacher of 34 years. Bolick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This Pittsburgh artist typically uses acrylic paints in his work. He is a portrait painter, and a member of The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.

One of the pieces Bolick created is called, Portrait #24. This portrait was purchased by the Friends of Art, in 2007, to hang in Pittsburgh Public Schools. The Pittsburgh artist s inspiration for this portrait came from his visit to Nicaragua where he saw young boys street fighting. He painted a portrait of one of those boys.

Portrait #24 is bright, acrylic paints. I really do not like the genre of portraiture, but I do like the vivid use of colors which draw attention to the painting. Bolick painted this acrylic to tell the story of how a young man in Nicaragua felt during the eighties. He took a photograph of the young man which he later painted. I have a hard time relating to the subject because I do not fight all the time. I do wonder why the young warrior looks so sad. I believe that this young man is courageous for fighting. There is also a look of anger in this painting. Even though I am not a big fan of portraits, I feel as if Portrait #24 expresses a message of intense anger, sadness, and courage.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Kimberly S.
Dan Bolick is an artist from Pittsburgh. He was an art teacher for 34 years. Bolick is an inspirational artist. This veteran teacher taught in many middle schools across the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He was an inspiration to many young inspiring artists. The Pittsburgh native is a portrait painter who mainly uses acrylic paints. His paintings capture many emotions of his real people subject matter.

I think that the message in Bolick s Portrait #24 is to stay strong. This portraiture artist used a cold color background in the painting to produce a sad feeling. In contrast, he used a warm and vibrant splatter painting to create an almost warm and uplifting feeling. I like the use of a sad subject matter to make you feel energized with warm colors against a sad face. I like this portrait because it creates mixed emotions just by altering colors against contrasting color schemes. The warm colors really make the cool colors stand out.

The subject of Portrait #24 is a street fighter in Nicaragua. Bolick s attention was drawn to a street fight between young boys. Portrait #24 is a portrait of one of these young urban warriors. I can relate to this subject because I too have everything that is thrown at me randomly and I also have to learn to deal with it. I like the subjects that the artist, Bolick, chooses to paint because he is willing to paint realistic, sad things which are unique.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Mhauri G.
Dan Bolick is an amazing artist. This inspirational painter is a Pittsburgh native. Bolick was an art teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for over thirty years. This veteran artist created many works of art. Bolick paints with acrylic and latex paints and he used a splatter paint technique. He paints in the genre of portraiture.

In Portrait #24 , the former Pittsburgh art teacher, captured a defeated look and emotion. The subject matter of Portrait #24 is a young street fighter. Bolick painted this canvas to capture the feeling of a young warrior. The artist took a photograph of this young fighter on a visit to Nicaragua. The acrylic paints that Bolick used in this painting give it a shiny appearance. My favorite part of Portrait #24 is its colorfulness. Each of the colors in the painting appears to stand for something unique and different. The background blue colors seem to represent water around at all times.

Portrait #24 is a very powerful painting. Unlike the young, urban warrior in Portrait #24, I consider myself very calm and peaceful. This young man does look very hopeful and appears as if he may have a bright future. I think that the artist, Bolick, is trying to express emotions within himself as they relate to his subject matter. I believe that this painting sends a message of hope even after defeat.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Akansha P.
Dan Bolick was an art teacher in Pittsburgh. He painted many colorful portraits with the use of acrylic paints. Bolick painted people who spent time in prison when they were wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. This Pittsburgh artist s subjects show deep emotions.

Portrait #24 is a painting of a young teenage boy in Nicaragua. The genre of the painting is a portrait and it is splatter painted with many colors. The artist s use of color is very creative. I think that Bolick chose this subject because it was colorful to paint. He also wanted to show the emotions of sadness and thinking. He captured this through the use of color and through the young warrior s expression. When I look at the portrait I feel sad for the boy and I also feel good, as if I should be nice to others.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Veronica K.
Daniel Bolick is a Pittsburgh artist who taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He is now a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. He paints in the genre of portraits and uses a splatter paint technique to show intense emotion. While in Nicaragua in the 1980s, Bolick photographed a young street fighter. In 2006 he used this photograph for inspiration in a painting he titled, Portrait #24. The genre of this painting is a portrait. This painting was purchased by the Friends of Art to be hung at and appreciated in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

I like Bolick s painting, Portrait #24, because it captures a lot of emotions even though the subject s face has only one expression. I also like this painting because all of the patterns and colors used by the artist show the boy s intense feelings.

To me, I think the message Bolick is trying to portray through Portrait #24, is that life is hard and not everyone lives in a good environment. I feel that Bolick did a good job portraying what the boy might go through every day. This painting is more than a work of art, it is a story.

Writing Response and Interpretive Painting by: Vivian J.
Dan Bolick is a portrait painter who works mainly with acrylic paint to tell stories. Bolick is from the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was an art teacher for 39 years at several schools in the District. This veteran teacher taught all ages during his many years of inspiring children in the way of art. He worked mainly in acrylic paints but also used charcoal and pencil for many of his series of art work.

Portrait #24 is an acrylic styled painting which is splattered with many colors. This painting is a portrait as stated in its title. Bolick painted many portraits during his career. As Bolick painted Portrait #24 he wanted to capture an emotion of sadness mixed with serious determination. It s a portrait of a young street fighter from Nicaragua named Rique. Bolick probably painted Rique due to the fact that he was a young man who lost every fight but with intense determination, he never gave up, no matter how hard the task ahead looked. If I could ask Rique a question it would be, Why would you continue to fight knowing you will lose? I cannot relate to Rique because I don t fight physically and I do not fight emotionally. I have it easy compared to others.

I don t really like the feeling of Portrait #24 , but I do appreciate its message and painting style. The colorful splatter painting style is fun to look at and the way it is painted interests me. Also, the intense blue colors in the background make me think of the sea shore. My favorite part of the painting is the painted grey lips. I do not like the artist s choice of colors on the subject s shirt because I do not believe that they blend well with the rest of the painting. Portrait #24 portrays Bolick s talented painting skills and his ability to shade with many colors of paint. Behind every painting is a story. I believe the story and message of Dan Bolick s Portrait #24 is that someone may be stupid for fighting, but no matter what you want to accomplish, be determined and never give up.


To see more artwork in the Friends of Art Collection at Pittsburgh Public Schools, check our our flickr slide show by clicking here.