- Curriculum: Art, Language Arts, Social Studies
- Age/Grade: Above 14, Early Childhood, Elementary 1, Elementary 2, Elementary 3, Middle School
- Subject: Drawing, Exhibition, Sculpture, Writing
- Materials: Markers, Paint
- Institution: YMCA
- Location: Sarasota, Florida
- Duration: 2 Classes
When an art teacher from a YMCA in Florida decided to clean up her shabby tables and teach her students about graffiti art, she decided to combine the projects and revive the tables with art! A strong emphasis on collaboration and cooperation led to a classroom full of personalized furniture.
To work collaboratively, emphasizing teamwork.
To expose children to Keith Haring's artwork.
To learn new ways of making art.
341A | Drawing The Line - A Portrait of Keith Haring Video
142a | Whitney Exhibition Catalog | Paperback
554a | Keith Haring, Authorized Biography | Paperback
Old tables (or any other furniture you choose)
White latex paint (preferably floor paint for durability)
Clear acrylic spray (or polyurethane)
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.
I work at a YMCA after-school program and have done the following activities with children from preschool to fifth graders. The first week we talked about what graffiti was and where we had seen it. To get across the idea of graffiti and collaboration we decorated our classroom tables that had been getting kind of shabby looking. I had painted them a flat color and the kids used permanent markers to put small pictures and their names on the tables. I finished them with a coating of clear acrylic spray.
How does graffiti differ from regular drawing?
Does graffiti have the same function as drawings that hang on the wall?
Do the tables become part of the artwork? How?
How does it feel to work on a piece of art as a group instead of individually?
Go here to find history and images of graffiti throughout the world.
This project was first published in School Arts Magazine.