Blps: Make your mark!

Richard Artschwager’s blps are oval-shaped marks that he invented in the 1960s. The blps originally came from the simple stroke that a paintbrush makes—oblong and rounded at the ends. Artschwager placed his blps in public places, such as on buildings and doorways, to make people notice the things around them that they might overlook. He made his first blps out of flat pieces of painted wood, but he soon began to use other materials like rubberized hair, spray paint, adhesive decals, and stencils.

Design your own blps and place them around your home!

What you’ll need:

Paint, paint brushes, assorted markers, pencils, paper, scissors, masking tape, assorted materials that you can find at home such as aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic, or fabric  (optional), digital camera

1.       Create your own blp. Experiment with mark-making using paint or different kinds of markers on paper. Choose one mark or shape to use as your blp. Make one or many of your own blps and cut them out with scissors.

2.    Draw a sketch of the places that your blps might go. It can be anywhere inside or outside. Why that place? What might your blps draw people’s attention to?

3.    Use masking tape to place your blps in locations around your home. Think carefully about where to put them. Are there special places in your home that go unnoticed? What is immediately next to and around your blps?

4.    Lead your family on a tour of your blps. Ask them what they notice about the places you chose, talk to them about why you put your blps in those places.

5.    For an extra challenge you could make blps out of different materials such as aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic, or fabric and place those around your home too. How do these different materials change your blps and what you notice around them?

6.    Take photographs of your blps and upload them to your For Kids profile page.