Keith Haring Tables

Keith Haring Tables

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Using the theme of "pressure", this class explored ways in which they experience and deal with social pressures in their everyday life and painting these images on to a large-scale table.


To expose students to Haring's work and style.

To allow students the opportunity to cultivate an idea as a group, collectively, emphasizing teamwork and cooperation.

To give students a cause or concern to examine and stand up for.


One large table or lots of little tables
Paper (for sketching out ideas)
Gesso (primer)
Acrylic paint
Brushes and painting supplies
Polyurethane or other sealant


The class had to brainstorm various issues that were important to their age group since the table would stay located in the classroom. After this, they, as a class, decided on one topic that was most appropriate and important to any individual who may come in contact with the work of art. This class chose "PRESSURE." As you can see in the 3 photographs, they sketched ideas for different ways to show this idea, and composed three final images to use on the table.

The top shows two contrasting ideas. One with negative pressure and one with positive pressure. On the right side of the top painting, you can see that the weight of negative things is pushing down onto the people, but on the left, the weight is rested on the ground, and the people embrace the positive aspects of life all around the rested weight.

One side of the table shows two figures trying to push a broken heart back together. The heart is being split by negative pressures. Again, the idea of physical pressure symbolizes emotional pressure as well.

On the other side there is a central figure that is reaching for the top two loving figures and pushing away the two bottom negative influences.


Make a list of some positive and negative pressures.

Make a list of positive and negative responses to pressure.


Think of the table/s as 3-dimensional murals. Imagine ways that you could creatively display them to an audience. What else could you paint on?