Empowering “Crack Is Wack” Mural

Empowering "Crack Is Wack" Mural

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Art activities incorporated in the process of creating a Keith Haring inspired mural that went up the walls, on the windows and over the doors. This mural expanded upon the dangers of drugs and abuse.


TSW develop an understanding of the power of Haring's work and collaborate with the schools environment to create a permanent collective mural work of art for all. TSW create an individual work of art based on his style that empowers them to a future without drugs.


Gruen, John. Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography
Drawing the Line: A Portrait of Keith Haring (viewed in part)
Internet Images by Keith Haring


walls, windows and doors
glass paint (we used speedball)
pencils, paper,brushes, wheat paste, paint (we used Rheotech)


1. Introduction: Students are going to create a public art related to Harings "Crack is Wack" mural. Students will explore the life and work of Haring and the importance of the mural and its message.
2. Define: Students extrapolated themes from Red Ribbon (drug free) Week to add to the design weekly; "Crack is Wack", Born to be drug free, sock it to drugs, don;t let drugs sneak up on you and put a cap on drugs
3.Creating: Students randomly drew images based on the "Crack is Wack" mural and subsequent drug free week themes using chalk and glass paint and rheotech paint. The spontaneous images are more succinct with graffiti art then pre-planned murals.


1. Will students have an enduring understand of the role drugs play on their future?
2. The school is now an alternative school and what will the impact be on these incoming students as to the message in the art images.
3. What is the similarities and differences in images on walls and in frames?
4. What other artists and or musicians spoke the same message about drugs?
5. Did painting on the walls have a greater impact than small papers?


Students create their own Haring inspired images based on a life without drugs in their system and or the toxicity of it for those around them. These images are grouped together in quilt like grids with rheotech paint and adhered to walls (ours were tile and cinder blocks) with wheat paste. Students draw with permanent markers on wall a verbal description of their visual images.

New students entering school add to existing graffiti mural and the message is emphasized and continues.