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These activities focus on works of art in the Whitney’s collection and special exhibitions. Through discussion, research, art making, and writing activities, we hope to encourage close looking, foster conversation between students, and connect artwork to classroom learning. Learn about our four artist-centered themes.

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Embrace mistakes in your artwork.

Wade Guyton created Untitled with the help of an Epson inkjet printer, similar to but larger than printers you may have in your classroom or home. Guyton used black ink to print the large rectangles onto linen, and although the large black and white spaces dominate the painting, there are also faint lines that are a result of Guyton folding or feeding the fabric through the printer. Guyton embraces these mistakes, considering them to be integral parts of his work.

In preparation for this project, have your students save all the artwork they make in your class, including the ones upon which they feel that they’ve made mistakes. After discussing Guyton’s work as a class, ask your students to pull out their collection of work. What kind of mistakes did they think they made? Thinking about Guyton’s strategy of embracing mistakes, have your students embrace a mistake in one of their works. How can that mistake become an important part of the work? How does it change the work?

Wade Guyton, Untitled, 2008  2011.22a-h  On view For Teachers