Magazine article School Arts

Haring's Heroes

Magazine article School Arts

Haring's Heroes

Article excerpt

Each year, our fourth grade students study contemporary art from the twentieth century. One American artist that students enjoy is Keith Hating. They love the symbolic figures, movement, energy, vitality, spirit, and excitement that characterizes his art. Hating was driven by a strong desire to communicate and developed his own language with his bold lines, objects, figures, colors and patterns.

Introducing Keith Haring

We began our study of the art of Keith Haring by watching parts of the video documentary about him called Drawing the Line (the teacher should preview this before showing to students). Slides, books, and reproductions of his art were also shared. Students were very curious about Haring, his art, and, especially his subway drawings.

We learned that one of Haring's major ambitions was to return art to the public. Hence, he created art in the subway in New York City. After Hating was recognized for his subway art, he began showing in galleries and his art took off successfully in the U.S. and around the world.

Creating Student "Subway" Art

Our art department was given several large pieces of five foot tall Styrofoam board. These became our black boards, similar to what Hating used in the subways. Inspired by Haring's drawings, our students made a series of their own line drawings of figures. One drawing per three students was selected to be enlarged on the Styrofoam boards. Our eager, young artists collaborated in groups of three on this project.

First, the outline of the enlarged figure was drawn with a black marker on the board. …

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