Fourth of July Art Project – Jasper Johns for Kids

It's the 4th of July!! Celebrate the holiday with a fun (and educational) art activity! This is the perfect project to inspire critical thinking, thoughtful discussion, and creativity.

Art for Kids – Celebrate the 4th of July by doing a fun American flag art project... and learn about Jasper Johns in the process.

Jasper Johns (born in 1930, and currently age 87) is an American artist. His work fits in to many different art movements including Dada, Pop Art, and Abstract Expressionism.

His collage/paintings of American flags are some of his most famous works.

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels)

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels)

One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.
— Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels)

Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels)

Being an American can be a complicated thing... back in the 1960's when he created this art, and even (maybe especially?) now in 2017. Johns' flag paintings bring up several provocative topics of conversation...

  • What does it mean to be an American?
  • Is this art patriotic? 
  • Or does it question authority?
  • Is it disrespectful to include things like newspaper clippings?
  • Or does that add interest and context... and add meaning to his art?

Download your activity guide and get creative!

Once you've looked at the art and had a conversation about some of the interesting questions it brings up, it's time to get out the art supplies and do some flag art of your own! Let the project be open ended. Invite your kids to create art similar to what they've seen here in Jasper Johns' Flag, or to try something new. When they have a chance to think about their choices and make some decisions about their art... that's when the magic happens!

I've got a free download to help you review the info here... just enter your email to sign up for access to the Learning Library (it's full of other fun projects, too!).

Enjoy the project, and be sure to connect with other artsy families on instagram using our hashtag #arthistorykids or on Facebook in our fun and free private group!