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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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Create a detailed drawing.

When Vija Celmins was a graduate student at UCLA, she started a series of paintings that depicted objects in her studio in as much detail as possible. Heater was one of these paintings.

Have your students look around your classroom and choose an object they would like to draw. Using a viewfinder, have them focus in closely on one part of that object, and draw it as accurately as possible. Afterwards, talk about the experience of drawing something in really precise detail. What was it like? What parts of the object did they focus upon? What was their strategy for capturing details?

Vija Celmins, Heater, 1964  95.19  On view For Teachers