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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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Make art from trash.

In this untitled sculpture, David Hammons planted copper wires in stones and wrapped the wires in African-American hair picked up from the floors of barber shops. The overall effect is of a giant, spidery insect—or a spiky head of dreadlocks.

Hammons is interested in hair not just as part of the body, but also as something that has been thrown away. Ask your students to brainstorm some other materials that could be used as art materials but are often thrown away. How would they use these materials to create a work of art? Would they use many amounts of the same item or combine different items? Where could they find these items?

David Hammons, Untitled, 1992  92.128a-u For Teachers