Wild art! Kids paint in Matisse’s beast-inspired mode

Proud teacher: Art Room owner Leigh Holliday Brannan with one of her talented young artists, Reinahee Castillo.
Brooklyn Daily
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Call ’em arty animals.

More than 100 young painters ages 3–12 proudly displayed their brightly colored, Henri Mattise-inspired work for friends and family at the Art Room’s spring exhibition on May 14. The exhibit was called “Les Petits Fauves” — French for “The Little Wild Beasts” and a reference to the exuberant and animalistic “Fuavist” painting style that Matisse helped to spearhead. It was the perfect theme for young artists, the Bay Ridge school’s founder said.

“It was sort of a logical choice, kids tend to gravitate towards anything super colorful, and to use colors in such an unconventional way is also really fun,” Leigh Holliday Brannan said.

Exhibiting students came from seven individual classes at the Art Room and worked on their pieces during weekly sessions where they were encouraged to think outside the box and interpret the Fauvist style in their own way, Brannan said. The exhibition was the school’s largest since 2013, though it does smaller shows throughout the year, she said.

One mother of two pint-sized painters — ages 5 and 7 — said they were bursting with pride to see their labors of love up on the Bay Ridge gallery’s walls.

“They were very proud to be in a special show put on for their work with lots of people there to see it,” Ridgite Elena Garvey said. “Their dad and I got to come — we usually don’t get to go to class and see what their working on, so it was nice to be in the studio, it felt special.”

“Les Petits Fauves” at The Art Room [8710 Third Ave. between 87th and 88th streets in Bay Ridge,, (347) 560–6572]. Showing through May 27. Free.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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