Select an activity such as bicycling, skiing, dancing, or playing ball, and
1) the objects or equipment used for this activity
2) the sounds related to the activity
3) the movement or speed of the activity
4) the feelings you have when you watch or do this activity; do you feel
excited, scared, powerful, peaceful, happy?
Think of how you can express all these ideas with shapes, colors, and art
materials, such as paper and cardboard. Review how Frank Stella created the
excitement, speed, and noise of a racetrack with curved shapes and bold
colors in Jarama II, then plan and create your mysterious work of art. Can
your friends guess the activity you had in mind?
Description of Project from Heather Leal
I used it as the launching point for an abstract art assignment using
sports as theme and cardboard.
We made large cardboard reliefs using the idea of motion involved in
The kids worked in pairs or threes and each group chose a sport. We
brainstormed together to get as many different sports as possible, and
while I didn't say absolutely no, I encouraged each group to choose a
Next, the groups brainstormed all the different things involved with
their sport- equipment, # of players, field or place, how the game is
played etc- everything they could think of. Then we talked specifically
about the movement and motion involved in all the aspects of their
sport. What the player does- how they move, how the ball or equipment
moves- directions of throws or passes etc. tackles, dives, spins,
falls, kicks, jumps, whatever is in their sport- and to really think
about the things that make their sport unique. They made clusters of
their ideas, and did sketches- there was a lot of getting up and trying
out the movements to see what it really looked like at this point- very
cool. Then they had to draw shapes that showed the path of the motions
they had figured out. Trace the line the ball traveled sort of thing.
How do you draw the path of the movement of feet running, what does
the movement in a tackle look like- lots of thinking happened.
They took all their shapes drawn on newsprint then, cut them out and
began playing with arrangements together. They had to have at least 6
shapes in their final piece.
Shapes were cut from corrugated cardboard. I had to help with a lot
since I just wasn't comfortable with them using X-actos. These were 6th
The pieces were painted with tempera, using color schemes that
represented the sport. (not sure how many really thought about that-
but they sure enjoyed using lots of color!)
The pieces were then glued together and hung. Each group had to title
their work and write an artist's statement explaining the work. A
rubric was used for the students to score their own work before I used
the same rubric to grade them.
This will take some time to get all online....so you may write it up into
lesson format yourself.
What was really neat, is Heather had the kids use their scraps to make one
large "installation" that went down the hallway...It was really wonderful! -
at least ten feet long. It might be really fun to have some of this work be
a Macquette for a larger wood piece for your school. Select a section of the
larger installation - or combine some of the best sports relief works and
have a parent cut the shapes out of plywood (larger - but to scale)....Kids
paint - then assemble for a permanent wall sculpture somewhere in your
building. The kids are still the "artist" - the parent is the craftsman -
just following the ideas of the kids. Less permanent would be Dow
Styrofoam....but easier to cut.