- Curriculum: Art, Art Criticism, Community Service, Social Studies
- Age/Grade: Above 14, Elementary 3, Middle School
- Subject: Drawing, Exhibition, Painting
- Materials: Markers, Paint, Pencils
- Institution: Realschule Zell
- Location: Zell, Germany
- Duration: 5 - 7 Classes
This lesson, sent in by an 8th grade class took their art outside, and painted bus shelters throughout the city of Zell in Germany. One is inspired by our favorite artist, Keith Haring.
To teach students about the life and work of Keith Haring by helping them synthesize his aesthetic style and conceptual concerns.
To allow students the opportunity to collaborate in a team effort for the benefit of the community.
To provide students the opportunity to express themselves in a public venue and to reflect on the impact that has on others as well as themselves.
Thick, permanent black markers
Tinting paint (Acrylic paint)
Transparent lacquer- Polyurethane or other sealer
Old Wallpaper (preferably non textured)
Our school is in a small town by the river Mosel. Many of the students have to go to school by bus. They often complained about the shelters at the bus stops which are very dirty. That gave us the idea to change the bus shelters into works of art. We started in the downtown area of Zell. All the people passing by were very enthusiastic about the result. So we kept on painting more shelters in other parts of Zell. For the last shelter in Zell-Barl we took our inspiration from Keith Haring's style.
After exposing the students to Haring's work and discussing his style and concerns, have each student draw a picture on a piece of paper in Keith Haring's style.
All of the students will submit their drawing and will vote on the drawing they like the best as a class [An alternative to this method is to combine aspects of each students' drawing, or to have a group of students design one drawing and then to have drawings from each group appear on different walls of the shelter].
Roll out old wallpaper to the same dimensions of the bus shelter, and have students draw their chosen design on it to scale.
At the bus stop, the students will tape sheets of tracing paper under the picture on the wallpaper. They will trace the picture with a biro (special pen) so that the picture can be seen on the walls of the shelter.
Paint in the full scale drawing on the walls of the bus stop. Remind students to be consistent with their paint colors so that the overall mural has a unified appearance.
When the paint is dry, have students seal it with a lacquer or shellac to prevent weather damage.
To celebrate the work, hang a letter up at the bus stop explaining the project. Maybe leave a class address so people can write in and tell you their responses.
What makes public art different than art that you do at school or at home on your own?
What do you think it feels like to come across a piece of public art in an unlikely place?
Are you giving to the community? How?
If you are interested in using this lesson, please make sure that you seek the approval of your local public transportation authority, and any other involved parties before initiating this project.