- Curriculum: Art, Community Service, Social Studies
- Age/Grade: Above 14, Elementary 1, Elementary 2, Elementary 3, Middle School
- Subject: Drawing, Exhibition, Painting
- Materials: Paint, Pencils
- Institution: YMCA
- Location: Sarasota, Florida
- Duration: 3 - 7 Classes
This ambitious teacher created a fence mural with her students in Sarasota, Florida. Each student's figure drawings becoming full-scale figurative paintings on a bright and bold playground fence.
To have children's drawings realized on a large scale.
To create a festive backdrop for our park.
To inspire collaborative working.
341A | Drawing The Line - A Portrait of Keith Haring Video
142a | Whitney Exhibition Catalog | Paperback
554a | Keith Haring, Authorized Biography | Paperback
Paint & painting supplies
My enthusiasm began with the Keith Haring video "Drawing the Line." Since I had been to college in the late 60's I had never heard of any of these artists while in art school, and the video gave me much needed background information for this artist who decorated subway stations with his simplified icon-like drawings that feature his trademark "radiant baby" and "barking dog." I also saw a wonderful Keith Haring exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York City. That exhibit prompted me to read a biography of Keith Haring and also his diaries.
During art camp the previous summer we had done a fence mural that was inspired by Keith Haring. Each student did a series of drawings of people doing things that people do in a park or on a playground. I then took the cut out drawings and fit them together for a composition that would work on the fence. Each child drew his or her own contribution on the already painted green fence, then we all filled in the colors and outlined them in black. I finished them with a coating of clear acrylic spray or polyeurothane for weather proofing. This fence was inspiration to the after-school students to appreciate and understand Keith Haring. If you have more time and an empty fence, this works well as a mural.
How did it feel to paint so large?
How does your drawing differ from the original that you made?
What do you think a stranger might think if they walked by this fence?
Photograph children in front of it for their yearly photos.
For older children, do a mural project once a year, painting over the old one (after you've documented it). Have the children create proposals and combine their ideas. Emphasize the planning as part of the project.
Instead of doing this at your school, have your students propose it for a local organization or community project.
This project was first published in School Arts Magazine.