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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Keith Haring Semiotics Posters

This is a lesson i teach with my Art kids in 7th & 8th grade.
It is also a very emotional time when I begin teaching it to the kids and usually end up tearing up in every class. But I tell the kids that my tears are just sacrificing looking like a blubbering fool to show them my sincere passion for what I am trying to teach them with it. 
We start by watching a video about the life and art of Keith Haring. 

He drew chalk drawings on empty Subway panels that related to his beliefs and concerns with society. 
Many were about fear of our culture being overruled by technology, people following their love of money, and people placing their worship in places that were false. He communicated what he wanted by using symbols only. People say "a picture is worth a thousand words", so he used that to his advantage. 
I really respect the way he would continue to daily make these drawings on the Subway, still knowing that he could and would be arrested for defacing public property. But he was willing to sacrifice for his greater purpose of reaching others through his art. 

I introduce the students to a collection of commercials called "Above the Influence". 
I want to get them thinking about their choices and where they will lead them to. 
I want them to understand that they are either respectful towards life and all things that encourage it ,
 or they are against it and choose things that lead them to eventual death.
I give them a list of issues they can pick
(Pro=Life, Anti-Bullying, Anti-Abuse, Animal RIghts, Faith, Showing love, and much more)...
Students build a system of symbols that relate to their issue they picked. This is Semiotics. 
For Example; 
Mustache = grown man 
Tie and Briefcase= business or work minded
Present= physical/monetary gifts
Heart Shaped Clock= showing love with time shared
Jumping Person= Joyful Person
When they gather enough picture symbols for their message to be communicated smoothly, they start finding a way to put them together harmoniously to share their message without words.



The grown man is business minded. He is offering physical or monetary gifts on one hand
or the sacrifice of his time to show love.
The children choose his time over his things that money buys.
It is about balancing our time as parents and knowing what is truly the most lasting and important  things in life.


The rocks on the person's back symbolize pain, stress, worry, grief, regret, hatred, unforgivemess, and burdens of any kind. THe person is stuggline to carry them all but continues going the wrong direction simply because of pride. Our culture believes that being strong means taking our own burden and carrying them around. We believe that tears show weakness. I think the strongest thing to do it to admit that you are not strong, perfect, or able to do it all. I believe that burdens should be lifted to the cross. I believe that we should all experience what true love really means by letting Christ in and showing us His sacrifice for us. He is in the stone removing business. Give Him a call...
Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Jeremiah 31:25 "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."


This poster is about a person that continually isolates themselves in order to  escape reality. They use drugs to make the world disappear. They feel that their "bubble" is a place where the world will disappear, but in reality, the world crumbles around it leaving family and homes to be broken. 

This means that if we joyfully plant our roots in His word, we will be fruitful for him and our hearts will reflect His love.
We have to plug out Spirit into it's source or we will be clueless what our Spirit is for.
We can do all that He did and more if we just plug into His power.
John 14:12 " Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

This is about worshiping in the Spirit, the way we were meant to. THis means that you have to stand up, shine, and not be afraid of what is around you in the physical realm. You cannot be in the Spirit if you are in the Physical, they conrtadict. You cannot grow in power if you do not commune in Spirit with the power itself.
John 4:23 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks."


Pro-Life Design
Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

This is about a hard-working parent needing to understand
the importance of sacrificing thier time to show love to their children.

In order to receive love, we must work and move , Love requires action  and an expectancy of things falling in our laps. We have to put ourselves in the process of gaining it to understand it's true worth.




To see the Keith Haring Semiotic Lesson and Student pictures, visit...
http://classroom.mineolaisd.net/webs/seatont/keith_haring_semiotics.htm

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