H'andy Warhol Prints Lead to 15 Minutes of Fame

Article excerpt

Children love the bright colors that made Andy Warhol's "Pop Art" so eye-catching and exciting. They are also intrigued by the idea of elevating and raising everyday objects to the status of art. This fun and simple art project introduced my K/1 art class to this 1960s legend while allowing them the pleasure of printing with their own hands.

We began our one-hour Warhol lesson by viewing reproductions of his work. "That's art?" asked the students, as we looked at Warhol's images of Campbell's[R] soup cans, Brillo[R] boxes, and $2 bills. There were lots of giggles and smiles while perusing Warhol's portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor: "Look at that eye shadow!"

They liked the hot pink and neon orange colors that he chose for his series, Flowers. "The children's favorite images though were those from the Endangered Species series. In this series, Warhol's vibrant colors make the elephant, zebra, toad, rhino, ram, and tiger seem to come alive. We noticed that Warhol used bright, neon colors and energetic lines in many of his prints.

I briefly discussed the silkscreen process, as I pointed out how Warhol offset the registration of colors to create a spontaneous and interesting effect. Since we did not have a silkscreen to print with, however, we would be printing using our hands! Then we talked about how we thought Warhol might have created an image of a hand; enthusiastic participants shared their ideas.

I demonstrated the steps that they would take to create their Andy Warhol print. Using a pencil, they would trace around their hand on white paper, then carefully cut out the shape. It's okay to leave pencil marks, because the paper hand will be turned over to the "clean" side after it's cut out. The cutout hand would then be glued down to a bright square of paper.

The students were thoroughly engaged with the next step--they would place their hand in a bright color of paint and then print (just a little offset) onto the cutout hand. …