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Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

First, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog.  I appreciate your support in reading my blog, leaving comments, pinning images and sharing my posts.  Whenever I get a positive comment or email from a reader, it just MAKES MY DAY and makes all the time worthwhile.  Without this kind of feedback and support, I would not continue blogging!

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who bought resources during the TPT Best Year Ever sale.  I was thrilled with all of the support and positive reviews.   If you didn’t buy anything, that’s fine too!   I’m happy anytime someone can use something they see on my blog.

Today I’m going to share with you an art experience my students had related to contemporary artist Frank Stella.  Stella has a long career working as an artist and his artwork goes back to the 60’s and 70’s and continues up to the present day.

Frank Stella Artwork

Frank Stella is AH-MAZING!  I have always loved his layered and colorful prints.  There was a retrospective exhibit of his prints at the local contemporary art museum and I took my 5th and 6th grade students to see his artwork.  There is so much that students can learn and discuss about his artwork.

Objectives and Goals:

  • Learn about a contemporary artist.
  • Discuss and learn about the progression and evolution of an artist’s style.
  • See examples of artwork in a series.
  • Understand what abstract art means.
  • See examples of how abstract artists get ideas for their work.  (for example, Stella’s Moby Dick series)
  • Visit a museum.
  • Use new tools such as a French curve and protractor.
  • Create an abstract artwork inspired by the art of Frank Stella.

Additional Resources:

We had docents lead us around in groups to discuss his life, techniques and evolution of his art style.  His artwork has changed over time and he has been very influential to other abstract artists.  One of the docents called him the “rock star of the art world”.

One of the things that is easily seen by young kids is his use of  protractors and architectural drawing tools such as french curves and flexible curves.  Learn about his protractor series!

Frank Stella Art

By using this Powerpoint presentation about his art, we discussed many of his different series and techniques.  We talked about what abstract art is and how abstract artists get their ideas.  The students made some sketches at the museum.  Some of the kids finished their sketches into beautiful artworks.  (We were in the middle of another project so not all had time to make an abstract artwork.)

Tools Used:

  • Protractor
  • French Curves
  • I did have a Flexible Curve, which is a really cool tool. However, I ended up having to take it away because the kids kept swinging it around and tried to whip each other with it.  They liked to play with it more than using it and someone was too rough and ripped the rubber so the wire is coming out.  I would not order this supply unless you have older kids who can resist playing with it.

Frank Stella abstract art for kids There is a lot of depth one can go into while learning about Stella’s work.  We discussed his exotic bird series and the students came up with ideas of why they think Stella named the pictures after exotic birds he saw in India.  What about them is bird-like?

2016-05-25 12.25.57 (740x589)

I really liked the student work below.  Frank Stella created the picture on the left, inspired by a race track in France.  My student was drawn to the artwork and created his own race track painting inspired by Stella.

Frank Stella art for kids

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About Marcia Beckett

Marcia is an elementary art teacher and loves painting, drawing, sculpture, art journaling and clay. Her blog, Art is Basic, features many exciting art projects for kids.

3 Responses to Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

  1. kara says:

    bought 3 of your cool lessons this week!!! Love your style of how you approach teaching us kids art lovin people how we might go about presenting art projects/lessons.

  2. Linda says:

    Hi Marcia! I recently took on a volunteer opportunity to share art in an after-school program with refugee elementary Somalian kids.Even though I was born an “artist” I am not educated as a teacher and needed some ideas.While searching online I was blessed to find your site (Pinterest?) and signed up for your newsletter.It is PACKED with resources and I couldn’t be happier to have found it.Not only that but it makes me want to try out new techniques and materials for the sheer fun of it! So thank you so much for sharing your talents and the joy of Art. Linda

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