Haring Cooperative Quilt



Students work together to make a quilt inspired by the life and vision of Keith Haring.


Analyze what an aesthetic experience is.

Art History:
Appreciate the life work of Keith Haring.

Art Production:
Design a figure based on the style of Keith Haring, and gain skill in Printmaking techniques.

Analyze published art criticism, looking for aspects for the Feldman Model


Haring Posters

Printmaking techniques and term handouts (in resource section)


Styrofoam plates
Various colors of ink (preferably water-soluble, try Speedball)


The late Keith Haring left a mark on American art and culture that cannot be denied. Haring created unforgettable artworks made up of interesting figures and designs. By studying his unique style, students can learn to use line effectively in designing their artworks. Students will develop their creativity by exploring the art of printmaking. Through continued exploration, the class will define an aesthetic experience and read published critiques on the work of Keith Haring. Experimenting with new media and techniques is important to Junior High students because it will help them to develop at their own pace. The style of Haring's cartoon-like figures is of interest to this age group because of his fun and expressive style.

Symbol: A sign or an object that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, or convention, or accidental but not intentional resemblance.
Printing plate: The object that holds the image that will be reproduced over and over.
Brayer: A special roller used to apply ink to a printing plate.

1. Write a definition of Aesthetic Experience.
2. Comprehend the work of Keith Haring
3. Produce successful prints
4. Review a critique of an artist's work

Cover a wall (or walls) with large sheets of black butcher paper. Supply the class with pieces of chalk. Instruct the class that they may draw on the paper with the chalk. The only requirement is that they must draw figures. They can draw the figures in whatever style they choose. After everyone has done some drawings, have the class return to their seats. Explain to the class that this was similar to an activity done by Keith Haring. Haring was first discovered as an artist when he did simple chalk drawings on blank subway advertisement space. People were intrigued to find new drawings popping-up in the subway, people were very curious to find out who was doing this. When people did catch Haring doing the drawings, he would quietly hand them something and then they would walk away smiling. What did Haring hand the people?Have the class list the various things that they think Haring handed the people in the subway. Could it have been money or his business card?

Why did people care who did the drawings? Why did they try to talk to Keith Haring? Could it be possible that people were having aesthetic experiences? Was Keith having an aesthetic experience in the subway? What is an aesthetic experience?Note: Keith was handing people buttons with his drawings on them. They had pictures of babies, dogs, and figures. Divide the class up into groups of four or five students. Have one scribe in each group record the group's answers to the following questions:

1. What are the particular qualities in an aesthetic experience?
2. What are the ways an object may be viewed or contemplated?
3. Does the aesthetic experience derive from nature? Is an experience in nature similar to one with art?
4. Is there a particular frame of mind needed for an aesthetic experience?
5. Can you force yourself to have an aesthetic experience or does it come naturally?-Questions from "Suggestions for Questions and Issues for Discussion Relating to Six Problem Areas or Cluster in Aesthetics" by Donna Kay Beattie (ISBN: 0871923637). After answering the questions, have the class write a class definition of an aesthetic experience.Post the definition in the classroom.


Have the class write a few key facts about Keith Haring's life in their notebooks that were most impressive to them. The facts can be displayed on the overhead.

Keith Haring
- Born in Pennsylvania
- Loved cartoons
- Known in high school as "the artist" (graduated in 1976)
- Went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Quit art school in 1980, worked and made art on the side
- Did simple chalk drawings in the subway (1980's)
- If people saw him drawing, then he would quietly hand them a button with a drawing on it
- Soon his art was spreading, people began to know who he was
- Some of the artworks were fun or humorous, while others made political statement.

"Keith Haring (1958-1990), the American Pop artist who went from drawings in the New York subways stations to major museum retrospectives and whose images have become icons of the 20th century moved to New York in 1978 to attend the School of Visual Arts, where his original approach was soon apparent in graffiti-inspired style expanded into large-scale designs of generative energy. At the height of the Punk Rock movement in the late 1970's he participated in the lively New York club scene, working with other artists involved in the same movement such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the summer of 1980 he took up drawing, inventing intricate cartoon-style murals of mutant figures locked in hyper-physical engagement. He had become a star in American art during the 1980s, exhibiting and working on projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and his work became a symbol of metropolitan life. His accessible imagery stems as much from Islamic and Japanese art as the sign language of contemporary culture. In 1986 the artist opened his own retail outlet, The Pop Shop, in New York and was continuously engaged in projects of an extraordinarily diverse nature, from murals on the Berlin Wall to paintings on hot air balloons, motor cars and decorative accessories. He fell victim to the AIDS epidemic and died at the age of 31 in 1990." -from the Kass/Meridian web-site, www.kassmeridian.com.

There are many options of pre-production activities, here are a few choices:
1. The official Keith Haring web-site, www.haring.com, provides a variety of resources and images regarding Keith Haring's life and work. If the technology in your classroom exists to show images from this web-site click on www.haring.com, then click on "art", then "flip books." This will take you to the various flip-books of the web-site. These "flip books" allow the viewer to freeze the characters in different poses. Show the class the different cartoons and freeze the characters in different poses to allow the students to sketch the characters in different poses. The sketches can be used to decide on what character to use for their project.

2. If the technology is not possible, then the class can be shown various artworks by Haring to design their project.

Some of the images on the Keith Haring's adult web-site are not appropriate for young viewers.

3. Each student should choose their best figure sketch to use for their project. Once the figure, of the correct size requirement, is chosen it must be transferred to a 3x3 square of styrofoam. The styrofoam can be cut from the center of a styrofoam plate. The 3x3 square is the "plate" that will be used for printing. To transfer the image to the "plate," the drawing must be drawn onto the plate with a sharp pencil. The pencil marks must puncture the surface of the styrofoam in order for the plate to work. The students may then ink the plates with various colors to create different kinds of prints. Enclosed in the resource section are various printmaking techniques. After each student has done a variety of prints, each student must turn in a print to contribute to a class "quilt." Gluing one print from each student onto a large piece of poster-board creates a fun "class quilt." This quilt displays the different characters created by the class. Avoid putting the same colors of squares beside each other on the quilt.

The following are requirements for the print project:
- Each student needs to make at least three sketches before making their "plate."
- Each of the figures must resemble artwork of Keith Haring.
- Each student must make more than one print.
- Each printing plate must be 3"x3" (7.6cm x 7.6cm).

Each group's participants earn class participation points for the group-work.
Each student gets class participation points for turning in a print for the quilt.
Each student will turn in his or her best print to be graded for quality.Each critique activity will be graded with points.

Have each student in the class read the critique on the work of Keith Haring. While reading the article, each student should underline and label the various parts of the critique that relate to the Feldman Model of Criticism.


A student could create many prints and create a "quilt" of his/her own.
A student with low-level reading skills could pair-up with another student when reading the formal critique.
Language Arts (reading of published text).