Magazine article School Arts

Art after School

Magazine article School Arts

Art after School

Article excerpt

I work at a YMCA after-school program. Recently, I planned a month-long after-school curriculum featuring the work of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf.

These three artists work in different styles, but their work is very appealing to young children.

The first week, I showed an example of an artwork on which all three artists collaborated. To get across the idea of their shared interest in graffiti and collaboration, we decorated our classroom tables which were kind of shabby looking. I 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. As an alternate activity if they didn't want to help with the table, they could pick a friend and do a collaborative painting at the easels.

Keith Haring

The work of Keith Haring fascinated the kindergarten children. I had templates of people that I drew from Keith Haring designs that they could draw around, color, and cut out. We took all the cutout people and made a pile of people, as Keith Haring often did in both drawings and sculpture. The older children tried drawing Haring-style people in different poses, making their own scenes. Since Haring also painted on tarps, a small group of fifth graders made a tarp banner with acrylic paint.

We created 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 cutout 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.

Kenny Scharf

The outer-space themes of Kenny Scharf get children excited. …

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