Making It Brilliant Is Part of the Art at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Posted on: November 14, 2022

Fourth-, fifth- and eighth-grade students at St. Joseph’s Indian School received lessons on the role of science and technology in image making from visiting artist Bob H. Miller during the week of November 7. And there was nothing subtle about it. Miller is a lover of brilliant, saturated and bright colors.

His trick? The black light. Miller works with students to make art that, perhaps somewhat plain under the ordinary classroom light, fluoresces under the ultraviolet wavelength. “Kids love it,” he exclaims.

“It was fun and it was cool,” said fifth grader Amelia Shot With Two Arrows. Classmate Bradely Gillette added, “I like it when it glows.”

Miller has enthralled students at St. Joseph’s for nearly 30 years, almost since he first began doing artist-in-residence visits at the school. “St. Joseph’s is a great institution with great people,” he comments, noting that this is his fifth or sixth visit.

A diverse and prolific studio artist, black light art is one of the first art formats Miller encountered, teaching himself “the wavelengths” as a high school student. “I love the bright colors glowing under the black light and seeing the students’ reactions,” he said.

The visit was made possible in part through the South Dakota Arts Council Artists in Schools & Communities (AISC). AISC is a residency program for K-12 schools and community organizations, with matching funds from the South Dakota Arts Council.