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City as Canvas: Artist Spotlight

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This guide is intended to be used as a resource for teachers either preparing to visit the Museum of the City of New York’s City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection or to use in the classroom following a class visit.

During the gallery tour of the City As Canvas exhibition, students will view highlights from the Museum's rich collection of 1970s and '80s graffiti art in New York. By analyzing the drawings, paintings, photographs and blackbooks collected by Martin Wong, students will learn about New York City artists known as “writers”, like Keith Haring, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, and Daze, and the historical context in which their work was created. Students will be able to elaborate on the multiple perspectives surrounding street art, discuss the various styles represented, and will respond creatively to the pieces by drafting their own sketches.

The information and activities in this guide correlate to the guided tour, but may also be taught as stand-alone lessons utilizing the text, images, and suggested activities. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the information to the grade level and ability of their students. For further information or to schedule a visit to the Museum of the City of New York, please email the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children’s Center at schoolprograms@mcny.org

Printing with Objects

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6 PMLD students aged from 12 to 17 used objects with different textures or filled with different textures to print paint onto figures for a classroom display inspired by Keith Haring. They also created the background black paint dabbing brushes in a rhythm.

Mural Making in the Style Of Keith Haring

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My 5th graders discussed what topics they considered important enough to provide a lasting legacy at their elementary school before heading off to middle school.

Several ideas were brainstormed and voted on. They decided that they wanted to showcase "sports and fitness" while showing haring style figures in motion.

Subway Graffiti Project

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After the students of the middle school art lab. watched the following documentary www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0XRAIo32w on Keith Haring, they worked on their own individual art works, inspired by Keith Haring's subway drawings.

T-shirt Designer

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Taking on the role of a t-shirt designer— “Keith Haring Style”

The lesson's goal was for students to pretend that they were “reopening” the Pop Shop in NYC that closed in 2005. They were given the challenge to design and showcase new and improved t-shirts that were marketable to sell. They could use any surface application such as dyeing, bleaching, and fabric paint to accomplish the task and it had to be wearable!

Keith Haring Semiotics Poster

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This lesson introduces students to the work of Keith Haring, focusing on his semiotic messages. Students have to create their own semiotic symbols to communicate a positive message that is important in their lives.

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