Graffiti Project

“Are we learning about graffiti?” Ronan asked yet again, when he heard I was coming in an art lesson in his school’s “art parent” program.  While we did not do it as part of the “official” art parent program this year,  his teacher was open to us sharing this presentation to this his class.  It was so much fun!  I think we saved my favorite art project for the last one in fifth grade, after probably ten years of being an art parent!

I didn’t think we should just talk about graffiti–it is illegal, after all, and cities spend millions each year to clean it up, but we are surrounded by it.

Graffiti in Montreal, 2010

Graffiti has been in existence since cave-dwelling times, through the Roman empire, the current art forms really becoming popular in the 1960’s, with artists using the blank walls in NYC subways as canvasses.
We talked about  community art, which can bring people together.  In cities, in towns, even on our school walls, it creates beauty on boring walls.

on NYC wall, 2010

The kids learned about Keith Haring, his pop-graffiti art with its memorable cartoon-style drawings morphing into a worldwide empire of child and very-adult art.  Haring was involved in over 50 community-art projects, including many with children–such as the 100 year Statue of Liberty anniversary with almost 1000 children.

Haring’s  style of work was so easy for the kids to relate to, and we did a simple project.  On a gorgeous spring day, we took sidewalk chalk to the front of the school.

A few pictures of the kids beautiful work:

"Tribute to Keith Haring"

excuse the artist shadows!


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