Keith Haring

Keith Haring is another accessible artist for students and tailor made for a movement lesson.     Haring made his name by sketching his characters on black paper which covered New York subway signs. Although this is considered graffiti, Keith used chalk for its non-permanence. He was also part of the NY street music scene.

After introducing the class to some of his images and having students sketch some for themselves, we move to an open area. Large sheets of poster paper and sidewalk chalk are spread on the floor around the room. Music of his time – Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna… are my closest guess.

First we revisit Fantastic Shapes (arms, legs, head, and back are not straight – Tacoma Art Museum I) and four dance energies (powerful, smooth, quick, and tight – Tacoma Art Museum II). Then we put on the music and call out an energy. Students movement in their own pathways around the area using powerful movement for example. When the music pauses they freeze in a fantastic shape.

Now I instruct them to visualize the fantastic shape they’ve made and draw it with chalk at the nearest poster paper. It’s a quick sketch and we get back to the movement and another drawing.

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