Creator: Glenna Shrimpton, Northland High School,
Title: Monumental Pop Art...in miniature!!
Medium Used in Production Activity: Mixed Media Assemblage
Target Age: Grade 7 -12
To acquaint students with the Pop Art movement and foster an understanding
of the historical context within which the Pop Art movement began
To expose students to the life and work of sculptor, Claes Oldenburg,
with particular focus on Spoonbridge and Cherry, the monumental
sculpture Oldenburg collaborated on with Coosje van Bruggen, his
To provide an opportunity for students to individually or collaboratively
design and build their own small scale models for monumental Pop
Materials will vary from one student to another. All student artists
or collaborative teams need to bring from home one ordinary object
taken from daily life--similar to the type of items Oldenburg celebrated
in his work. This object becomes the actual pop art sculpture (on
a miniature scale) and the following materials are used to create
the environment the sculpture will be placed within:
- foam core board
- carvable styrofoam (blocks of florist's foam glued together
- papier mache
- acrylic paints
- Elmer's glue
- hot melt glue
- Paper Clay (an air-drying modeling material)
- dried weed/shrub stems (to make trees)
- HO scale model railroad scenery/props such as small plastic
human figures,foam foliagecrushed rockmoss, etc.
Locate and share with the class reading/discussion material on
the Pop Art movement with particular focus on Andy Warhol and Claes
Oldenburg. Suggested materials include back issues of Scholastic
Art Magazine and ARTnews for Students.
Show slides, videos, and posters of major Pop Art works with emphasis
on Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Spoonbridge and
Also visit internet web sites that offer information on the Pop
Art Movement and/or Oldenburg/van Bruggen. (A listing of suggested
- Introduce the Pop Art Movement via reading/discussion material,
visual aids such as slides, videos, posters and related internet
web site exploration.
- Discuss the historical context which contributed to the development
of Pop Art. (See worksheet/discussion guide entitled, "MONUMENTAL
POP ART SCULPTURE a la Oldenburg" for possible use).
- Introduce the life and works of sculptors Claes Oldenburg and
Coosje van Bruggen via reading/discussion material, and slides/videos,
- Emphasize Spoonbridge and Cherry-- one of Oldenburg/van
Bruggen's many monumental sculptures that celebrate ordinary objects/food--by
sharing background information on the design and collaboration
process between these two artists.
- Give the following assignment:
- Pretend you are a well-known Pop artist like Claes Oldenburg
who creates sculptures of ordinary objects/food on a monumental
scale. Your home community has decided to honor you by commissioning
you to design and build a monumental Pop Art sculpture similar
to that of Spoonbridge and Cherry.
- The subject of the sculpture may reflect the popular everyday
images you see as important to the people in your city/town--or
it may reflect imagery that is important to you, the artist.
The nature of the sculpture will determine the specific location
for the completed work--and you, the artist, may design a
particular environment for the completed work to be placed
- Your first task is to submit a thumbnail sketch of a proposed
sculpture to the city council for approval. The sketch should
give some idea of the scale of the completed work as well
as the ideal environment you'd like to see the work placed
- Once approval is granted for the basic sketch/design, build
a small three-dimensional working model of the project for
final approval. This is precisely what Claes Oldenburg and
Coosje van Bruggen did! They made a small scale model of Spoonbridge
and Cherry and presented it to the Walker Art Center
director--hidden beneath a napkin!!
- Your miniature version of the monumental work should contain
one (or more) actual three-dimensional object(s) or a replica
of a real object, (such as a plastic apple, versus a real
one) that represents the actual pop art sculpture to be constructed
on a grand scale. This object is then placed in a scale model
of the landscape/environment you would like to see the completed
monumental sculpture set in.
One final note--You do not have to work at this alone.
Claes Oldenburg collaborated with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen,
while designing Spoonbridge and Cherry. You may
choose a classmate to collaborate with on this project!
- Show sample completed sketches and sculpture model.
- Lead the class members in brainstorming ideas toward the creation
of their own monumental Pop Art sculptures.
- Students sketch out their best/favorite ideas for a monumental
Pop Art sculpture for teacher comments/approval.
- Demonstrate various art media processes useful in creation
of scale models.
- Review design principles such as Proportion, Balance, and Rhythm/Movement.
- Present grading criteria to be used in evaluation of the assignment.
- Student work time to collaborate/create monumental Pop Art
--Suitability of Subject for monumental Pop Art sculpture
--Originality of the idea
--Choice of environment for placement of sculpture
-Size variety of elements used throughout the sculpture/environment
-Division of space
-Appropriate use/show of scale
-Achievement of balance in the work as a whole
-Type of balance used--Formal? Informal? Radial?
-Establishment of rhythm/movement due to repetition of selected
-Design elements repeated--Color? Texture? Line? Shape/Form?
--Appropriate use of materials
--Quality of craftsmanship
Examples of student work:
Jamie and Amber's First
Bronzed baby shoes, florist foam, acrylics, painted Plastic banana,
papier mache on foam core
Krissy's Smashed Banana
twigs, crushed rock and HO scale plastic
figures. acrylics, paper clay, florist foam
and painted twigs
| Bridges--Just as Oldenburg/van Bruggen used a common
object like a spoon to make a bridge, assign students to make a bridge
out of their selected objects, including designing the body of water
that lies beneath!
Have students research a different time period and/or ethnic group
and create a miniature pop art sculpture that reflects the popular
imagery of that point in history and/or culture.
Pop Art Pop-Ups! After teaching students basics in varied book
structures, assign the class to create a pop-up book that reveals
a popular culture image (like a spoon and a cherry) as the book
is opened up!
Have students design and create Pop Art for a world/planet other
Megan, Michelle, and Rosemary's
Up on Mars