Everyone will love these Keith Haring Art Projects for Kids, inspired by the famous American artist’s work, philosophies and colorful life!
“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”
Have you ever sat at your desk in class, doodling away in your notebook because the lesson was too boring? Now imagine if those doodles suddenly become world-famous art and got featured in exhibitions around the globe. Incredible, right? But that’s pretty much what happened to American artist Keith Haring!
Okay, Keith Haring didn’t doodle in class, or at least there’s no report of it if he did, but he was interested in cartooning and graphic art right from a young age. Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was raised in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, Snoopy, and Loony Tunes – many of these are part of our childhoods too!
Keith Haring’s work is considered ‘pop art’, and is inspired by the graffiti drawings that were a rage in the eighties. But his art isn’t just vibrant and attractive – it also tells some serious social messages. Haring created a lot of work for daycare centers, schools, and children’s hospitals – yes, he loved working with kids!
And this extends even after his death, right to this day – children relate a lot to his art, and they love creating their own versions. That’s why we’re celebrating Keith Haring during his birthday month, with some kooky Keith haring art projects for kids. There’s painting, sculpture and lots more to try, and kids are sure to have a blast!
10 Kooky Keith Haring Art Projects for Kids
Keith Haring extended his support to several social causes, and one of his most iconic artworks is related to the war on crack, or cocaine. In the eighties, crack cocaine had become a huge problem in the United States, and Haring’s ‘Crack is Wack’ art became a public announcement of sorts, reminding people of the evils of drug use. Learn more about Haring’s social work as you try this beautiful art from Easy Peasy and Fun.
We love this artwork from Art Projects for Kids that is inspired from Haring’s 1990 work, ‘Best Buddies’. It’s a symbol of friendship between two people, who can be of any gender, any race, any nationality. Haring himself had some close friends in his life, including artist Andy Warhol and artist-singer Madonna. In fact, Madonna dedicated the last concert of her Blond Ambition World Tour to Haring’s memory, donating the proceeds from the ticket sales to the Foundation for AIDS Research.
Haring was greatly inspired by the work of artists like Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. He treated the empty ad space in New York subways as his practice lab, and he was even arrested for vandalism once! Of course, he was released when they found out the purpose of what he had done. Deep Space Sparkle creates a ‘subway art’ of sorts, with multiple Keith Haring art projects for kids that are harmonious yet unique.
One of Haring’s most popular sculptures is ‘The Boxers’, created in Germany and which offers an insight into how clever the artist was with various kinds of mediums. And it’s not just sculpture; Haring also collaborated with Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer, for a collection, and he also designed set decorations for MTV sets. He also established relationships with celebrities like Grace Jones and Yoko Ono. If you’d like to try out a Keith Haring-style sculpture, check out this project from Haring Kids.
There are many symbols that have become iconic of Haring’s style, and are now instantly recognizable. For instance, he often signed his work with the drawing of the ‘Radiant Baby’. He also used a barking dog as a reminder for the people that politicians and others who talked a lot rarely did much! Learn more about these symbols with a fun addition to this list of Keith Haring art projects for kids – a board game from One Eyed Pak!
Kids who are trying out these Keith Haring art projects for kids will enjoy seeing how the artist adds movement to his works! He believed that art shouldn’t be flat; instead it should show movement and become a performance in itself. You’ll notice he adds short lines to indicate movement of his subjects, as done in this art project from Arts and Bricks.
This art project from Art.Paper.Scissors.Glue reminds us of Haring’s mural on the Berlin Wall, for the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. It was a pretty long mural at 300 meters, and figured human figures who were interlocked, indicating unity between East and West Germany. Keith Haring didn’t shy away from showing his political opinions through his art, whether it was against apartheid or against using nuclear arms.
Keith Haring had a deep fear of nuclear destruction, and this was visible in his art. He created a black and white striped flag, that was supposed to indicate how dangerous a nuclear war could be. Keith Haring’s social activism through art eventually had him getting commissioned by the UN to design a stamp and lithograph for them. Soul Sparklettes shares a project along those lines, celebrating Earth Day, Keith Haring-style.
Keith Haring had a short life, and he died at the young age of 31. But he made the most of his short career, having over 50 solo exhibitions during his lifetime and over 150 exhibitions after his death. His younger sister Kay Haring wrote a children’s book about him that was a bestseller on Amazon for several months. Read the book and learn more about Haring’s career as you make this large, life size art from Art & Ideas that Grow.
Keith Haring didn’t believe that art was something restricted to the uber rich or royals. He sincerely thought that art was supposed to ‘reach every segment of the people’. His Pop Shop was an attempt to make his art more accessible, through everyday objects like mugs, magnets and t-shirts. Get the kids involved in making their own art by being the bridge in this art piece by Cahier Josephine.
Just looking at these Keith Haring art projects for kids makes you feel cheerful, thanks to the simple lines and bright colors used. There is a lot of symbolism in Haring’s work, which gives those simple shapes a much deeper meaning. It is admirable that he used whatever time he had to spread awareness about important topics, without being afraid. It’s a great lesson for young kids to learn, to use the art for the greater good of society.