By Christine Snyder

September is back-to-school season, so here at the FAM Artist Spotlight we’ll be featuring artists that kids are sure to love!  Our first artist is Keith Haring, a graffiti-style artist who is famous world-wide for his subversive style, uplifting messaging, and social activism.  Born in Reading, PA, Haring was inspired by cartoons as a child and spent time drawing with his father.  He briefly attended art school in Pittsburgh before moving to New York City to pursue his education.  While living in New York, he became accepted into the art scene and befriended famous street artists, including Jean Michel Basquiat.  He used the city as his canvas, preferring to paint on blank advertisement panels inside the subway stations–which subsequently led to various arrests for vandalism.  

Eventually, Haring adopted a more traditional approach by switching to paper, but he still wanted his art to be accessible for all.  He opened a store and sold his artwork on t-shirts, posters, and buttons for affordable prices.  His bold colors, positive imagery, and simple designs became very popular with viewers, and his pieces symbolizing love and harmony are displayed prominently at the most prestigious art museums around the world.  He founded the Keith Haring Foundation and completed many projects benefiting children’s organizations, hospitals, and charities.  I can’t think of a better artist to inspire our school-age children to pursue their creativity and make a difference in the world!    




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