Monday, February 27, 2012

Jasper Johns-Inspired American Flag

Presidents' Day.... was last Monday.

Despite the belated nature of this post, 5th grade students did spend their class time piecing together this symbol of the USA, in the style of American Pop artist Jasper Johns!

Back in January, I put out the all-call for soda boxes of red, blue, and silver. Pop Art, such as Jasper Johns' flag paintings, uses everyday objects and consumer culture as subject matter... so these Coke & Pepsi boxes worked on a level beyond mere color!

In one month's time, our pile of soda boxes had finally grown to the point where we could begin. I estimated that we would need about 10 boxes of each color to safely cover the flag, but we might have gotten by on a few less. For the template, I projected and traced the image on a large roll of card stock (4 feet high) that someone had donated several years ago (I wish I knew where I could get more!!!).

When the 5th graders came into class, we spent the beginning of class reading an article in Scholastic Art about how Johns created his flag. Students cut apart the boxes into 1-inch strips, then took turns up at the flag gluing them down with Tacky Glue. After this was complete, we painted a sheer layer of acrylic red, white, and blue to seal the strips down. To make the paint translucent, we mixed it with acrylic gel medium (using glossy gel gives it a nice sheen). Finally: we traced and glued the stars down!

The blog will be updated with photos as the flag makes its tour... first, parent-teacher conferences; next at Youth Art Month; and finally at its new permanent home in the school library.

The Process:

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