ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota

Art and Artists
 Berenice Abbott
 Giovanni Canal
 Frank Gehry
 Marsden Hartley
 Louis Lozowick
 Mexico (Nayarit)
 David Nash
 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places
David Nash
Discussion Questions/Activities

Nash believes his artwork is about the relationship between nature and culture. What does he mean by this statement?
The following artists included in ArtsNet Minnesota recycle materials when they create artwork: Pepón Osorio, Betye Saar, and David Nash. Some of these artists use natural materials and others use throw-away "junk." Form discussion groups. Agree on one artwork that your group likes best from the artists listed above. Write down three reasons for your choice. Present the artwork and the group's rationale to the class.


  • Find a "condemned" branch, stump or tree part in the environment. For this activity, environment may be defined as home, town, or county. Using this material, create an artwork incorporating both geometric and organic shapes. Although Nash usually pegged his works together with wood, students may use wire, string, glue, nails, or whatever is necessary. When the artwork is finished, give it a title. Extension: Make a charcoal drawing of the artwork. Display the works in a public place in the school or community.

    Nash, Standing Frame
    David Nash, Standing Frame

  • Use the window of your bedroom as a "frame" for the scenes outside similar to Nash's design for Standing Frame. Create a composition by looking at different scenes. Choose your favorite composition and create a marker drawing including all the details you see. Is the view you have chosen cheerful? Depressing? Do you think the scenes we see from our windows influence our moods?

Create a "coming" artwork on the school grounds by planting five small trees trained to create a dome. First research the appropriate species to use for your environment. Learn how to care for the trees; how deep to plant them and how to water them. Then raise money to buy the trees. Plant them. Name the work. Have a dedication ceremony and invite the community. Make drawings of the work each year at the same time of year. Select one picture each year to frame. Display the drawings together in order to show how this is a work-in-progress.


Atkins, R. ArtSpeak, New York: Abbeville Press. 1990.

Atkins, R. ArtSpeak, New York: Abbeville Press. 1990.

Benzi, F., E. Busmanti, and A. Sbrilli The History of Art, New York: U.S. Gallery Books. 1989.

Fineberg, J. Art Since 1940 New York: Harry N. Abrams. 1995.

Haynes, D. J. "Teaching postmodernism." Art Education, 48(5), 23-24, 45-50. 1995.

Kimmelman, M. David Nash, New York: The New York Times. Friday, June 15, 1990.

Mayer, R. A Dictionary of Art Terms, New York: Harper & Row, Inc. 1969.

Nash, David, [exh. cat.] Voyages and Vessels, Omaha, Neb.: Joslyn Art Museum. 1994.

Nash, David, Gallery Guide, Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minn. 1996.

Thorson, A. "An introduction to ecological art," The Kansas City Star, Missouri, Sep. 29, 1992

Swartz, S. (ed.) Walker Art Center--Painting and Sculpture from the Collection New York: Rizzoli Publications and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn. 1990.

Vocabulary Terms

rural--Of or relating to a small town or countryside.

urban--Connected to a city; many people living in close quarters; businesses nearby.

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Discussion/Activities, About the Artist, About the Art, Teacher Lessons

Inner Worlds | What Is Art? | Environment | Identity | Designing Spaces and Places
About the Art | About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities | Teacher Lessons