36 Elementary Art Lessons for Kids – one for every week of the school year! Perfect for homeschool families, teachers, scout leaders, and parents!

Art is my favorite part of our homeschool week, so to prepare for the upcoming school year, I put together this list of 36 art lessons for kids – one for each week of the school year. These fun and creative art activities are geared for elementary aged children and are adaptable for students in grades K-6. Many of these kids art project ideas are inspired by famous artists throughout history, and all of them are sure to be a ton of educational fun!

Most of these kids art projects require only basic supplies such as tempera paint, watercolors, paint brushes, construction paper, glue, oil pastels, and clay. They’re perfect for a single student or an entire classroom full of kids!

36 Elementary Art Lessons for Kids

Wassily Kandinsky Art Lesson + Circle Collage

Jackson Pollock Art Lesson & Activity

Alien Name Creatures

Piet Mondrian Art Lesson + Activity

Styrofoam Printing

Pointillism Art for Kids

Collaborative Watercolor Painting

Winter Cardinal Art Lesson

Wayne Thiebaud-Inspired Cupcakes

Clay Flower Bouquets

Watercolor Jellyfish Resist

DIY Stained Glass Mosaic

Cave Painting Art

Cut Paper Art

Tint/Shade Ice Cream Cones

Radial Paper Relief Sculpture

One-Point Perspective Art Lesson

Watercolor Dream Catcher Art

Mexican Cacti Art

Wycinanki Polish Folk Art for Kids

Cardboard Circle Weaving

City Skyline & Reflection Printmaking

Elementary Art Lessons for Kids

Monet’s Pond Art Lesson

Mary Cassatt-Inspired Self Portraits

Calder-Inspired Paper Sculptures

Rain & Rainbow Watercolor Resist

Fluid Art

Clay Leaves

Matisse Cut Outs

Life-Sized Keith Haring Art

Gelatin Leaf Prints

Optical Illusion Art

Sumi-e Brushstroke Mini Books

Quilt & Tile-Inspired Art

Acrylic Paint Sun Prints

Georgia O’Keefe Flowers

These fun art projects for kids are sure to bring a ton of creative joy to your home or school room!

Art Lesson Plans and Activities

Creative art-focused activities for your classroom. These lessons include resources for a variety of artistic mediums and subject areas such as special events and homework.

Your creativity and ideas can help other teachers. Submit your art lesson plan or activity today. Don’t forget to include additional resource documents or a photo.

Art Lesson Plans

This indicates lesson plans located on The Teacher’s Corner.

Sidewalk Chalk Activities Grades: K-6th
A few activities that use chalk to be creative and develop fine motor skills.
Crayon Activities Grades: K-6th
Grab a box of crayons for these fun activities.

Finger Painting Grades: All
A few activities that use finger paint as the creative medium.

Friendship Flags Grades K-6th
Dip coffee filters in colored water and string together to make a colorful flag or make a bulletin board in this lesson plan that expresses the beauty of diversity.
Submitted by: Jennifer

School Mascot Art Project
Every school has a mascot. Help students bring them to life with this 3D art project. To begin this project, take a little time to help students learn some basic information about the animal – habitat, location, food, etc.
Once students have some background knowledge, provide them with a variety of art materials – the more dimensional, the better! Using a single piece of construction paper, students will create the background for their mascot.
Finally, using construction paper, students will create one or more of the mascots. Using the same color of paper, they will need to accordion fold a small piece, attach it to the mascot and then attach that to the background.

Rainbow Fan Grades K-6th
Materials Needed: Approx. 12 paint sample cards for each student, yarn, hole puncher, scissors, brass fastener.
Lesson Procedure: Punch a hole in the top center and bottom center of each paint sample card. Lace the yarn through the hole on the top of the cards. At the bottom, place a brass fastner through all of the punched holes to hold the cards together. Fan the cards apart.
Submitted by: Jennifer

Rose-Colored Lorgnette Grades K-6th
Materials Needed: Half an egg carton, scissors, rubber cement, colored cellophane, scotch tape, and a seven inch stick.
Lesson plan Objectives: Child will construct an object that allows them to view the world in a variety of colors and will learn why certain objects in their colored environment look the way they do when certain colors are mixed.
Lesson Plan Procedure: Cut windows in the bumps of half an egg carton. Glue circles of colored cellophane over the windows with rubber cement. Tape on a stick for a holder.
Submitted by: Jennifer

Eye Holes in Mask Grades Various
Tip to help make holes in paper masks: If your class is making masks for art with paper plates, here’s an easy way to make to the eye holes: Draw the eyes onto the mask, then poke one blade of your scissors into the center of one eye. From your center point, cut to the edge of your eye. Keep doing this until your incisions look like the spokes of a wheel. Once you’ve finished, just fold all the pieces backward into the mask. They should tear off easily. Ta da! You have an eye hole!
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim – Iskut, BC, Canada

My Colorful Apple Tree Grades K-1
This lesson plan will help students learn their colors. You will need a basic tree shape, along with a small apple. On each apple, write the color that you want students to know. They will first color their tree and then the apples. Students will then glue apples onto the tree.

“The Homework Machine” Visualizing Activity Grades Any
This lesson incorporates Language Arts into Art. I use this with primary students, but it could be used for any grade.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim – Iskut, BC, Canada

Simulated Ink Grades Any
Make inexpensive calligraphy ink: An easy way to simulate art/calligraphy ink is to mix a small amount of water into black tempera paint. I’ve found that a ratio of about 1 part water to 4 or 5 parts paint works well.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim – Iskut, BC, Canada

Classroom Window Decor Grades Any
Summary: Make tissue paper designs to place in the window.
You will need contact paper and different colors of tissue paper. Cut your contact paper into squares, peel it apart, and give one to each child. On Christmas, for instance, they can use different shades of green and red and stick them on the contact paper in a triangle shape to simulate a tree. The pieces of tissue paper can overlap. They could put a brown square near the bottom to represent the trunk. Once, they have completed their Christmas tree (or pumpkin for Halloween, or shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day, etc), you simply put a second piece of contact paper over their art. They can then use scissors to cut around the edge of their design. The finished projects can be hung around the windows in the classroom, and when the light shines through, they look very pretty. This activity can also be done for a variety of other things such as, animals, fish, Valentine hearts, etc. This is an inexpensive way to decorate your class with some student personalization!
Submitted by: Cindy

“Eric Carle & Art” Grades K-3
You can find this lesson plan in the Reading section! It is a collaborative project between the classroom teacher and the art teacher.

Homework Hanger Grades Any
Summary: Create a artistic door hanger to promote a quiet working area.
Lesson Procedure: Create a doorknob hanger pattern (pdf). Then have each student trace the pattern onto a sheet of lightweight cardboard. Direct the student to cut out the hanger and write his name on the back. Collect and paint the from of each hanger with brightly colored spray paint. Allow the hangers to dry; then return them to students. Have each child use cut-out shapes and glitter to decorate his hanger with a design and message to promote a quiet working area. Encourage each student to use the doorknob hanger at home to create a homework-friendly environment.

Sponge Painting Grades K-4
Summary: Write poems on sponge painted paper leaves and hang them on a paper tree.
Using sponge paint, create a large tree trunk with branches. Have the children make a large leaf outline on a fall colored piece of paper (tan, yellow, red, orange, green), and write a poem pertaining to the wind, fall colors or weather. They can use fall colored sponge paint to outline their leaves. Cut the leaves from the paper. Take the finished leaf poems and attach them to your tree branches. It can be titled “Art in Autumn”, or “Fun in the Fall”
Submitted by:

Go to our Lesson Plans index
We have lesson plans for art, health, math, reading, social studies, technology, writing and more.

We want your pictures! Have you made one of these projects? We would love to get a picture and you can help others by showing off how you did it! Send us your picture or lesson modification ideas.

Art Activity Websites
This is a collection of other websites that contain art related lesson plans, activities and materials.

Art Teaching Ideas for Primary Teachers Lesson plans and resources for 5-11 year olds.
K-6 Arts Lesson Plans
Arts Education K-6 Visual Art Lessons
ArtsEdNet This section of ArtsEdNet includes a variety of teaching and learning materials, including many art images.
Sorted by Grade Level
Alphabetical Listing
Lesson Plan links Lesson Plans for the Arts
Lesson Ideas Lesson Plans for the Arts
ArtsEdge Lesson Plans The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Marco Polo
Fine Arts Arts Lessons Plans
Elementary Educators Lesson Plans About.com Lesson Plans
Arts Ed Net Highlights lesson plans, curriculum ideas, and art exhibitions from the J. Paul
Getty Museum and Arts Education Web Site
Heartland Curriculum Resources Listed here are several curriculum companies linked to their web sites. They are arranged by subject within levels.
Lessons Plans Page Terrific resource of lesson plans in art as well as all fields.
Crayola This jam-packed art site has something of everyone. For teachers there are excellent lesson plans, techniques, product information, newsgroups, grants and more.
Crayola Lesson Plans
Favorite Art Lessons Art Teachers Lesson Plans
Art Lesson Plans Links
The Art of Teaching Art CSG Publications – downloadable lessons
Art Studio Chalkboard lessons on drawing, painting
Art Takes Time This site contains lessons that meet the following National Standards for Visual Arts Education.
Art Teacher on the Net
ArtsEdge Instructional Resources for teaching the Visual Arts. Curriculum units.
Art Dictionary! ArtLex
AskERIC Lesson Plans ARTS
Awesome Library links to tons of Art lessons K-12
CanTeach Visual Arts – Lesson Plans for Elementary
Collaborative Lesson Archive K-12
Computer Art Lessons
Crayons and Computers
Daily Lesson Plan from The New York Times’ Teacher Connections, art lessons for grades 6
12
Digital Photography online lessons
Drawing in One Point Perspective – an online lesson
Education World – lesson planning center, archives: the arts
Eyes on Art
Fractals- A Fractals Unit for Elementary and Middle School Students
Free Art Lessons online – this is oil painting from1art.
Free Lessons – Bright Ring Publishing – Sample lessons from MaryAnn Kohl’s art books you can buy.
The Gateway to Educational Materials PreK – 12
Imagination Factory – recycled art ideas Lessons – by category
Incredible Art Department Favorite Lessons – early childhood through undergraduate lessons, plus tests

Shows how computer technology can be used to examine

K-12 Lesson Plans

Kaleidocycles lesson by Woody Duncan – Great visuals!!

Kaleidoscope for Kids KODAK; grades K-6

KidsArt Art Education

KinderArt Welcome to the largest collection of free art lessons and art education information on the Internet.

Lesson Plans for Art from Going to a Museum – Teacher’s Guide

The Lesson Plans Page all subjects

Origami Web Resources for Students

Perspective Drawing

Sanford and a Lifetime of Color’s Art Education Resources and ArtEdventures

Woody Duncans’ Taospaint – Middle school lessons and links for printmaking

Teacher.Net Lesson Exchange – art lessons for pre-school, elementary, middle, and high.

Teacher.Net – Lesson Ideas – Art

Teachers helping Teachers – The Arts -Brief lesson plans

Virtual Curriculum – Elementary Art Education This site is designed to aid teachers in the art education of elementary aged children. Many lessons have been written and gathered on various topics, historical time periods, and cultures throughout the world. Each section will display lessons and links devoted to a particular concept. The lesson plan will include the concept, objectives, vocabulary, materials, procedures and evaluation.
Artlex Art Dictionary
Arts Education Links
Art Education- Curriculum Lesson Plans Perspective/Drawing
Art Criticism Fine Art Images Art History Timelines Color Theory
Art Links Art/Technology Art Careers Education Resources
Mary Cassatt Portfolio and bio. Find out more about Mary Cassatt
Women’s History Month Lesson Plans
Women Artists on the net includes some lesson plans
Lessons Plans Georgia O’Keefe
Columbus Museum of Art Lesson Plans
Frida Kahlo: Mi interpretación Lesson Plan

Remembering Ephemeral Art and All of Its Faces

October 2, 2016 Eli Anapur is a pseudonym of Biljana Puric. A staff writer and editor at Widewalls, Biljana holds Master’s Degrees in Film Aesthetics from the University of Oxford, and Gender Studies from the Central European University. She has published academic articles as well as art and film reviews and criticism in New Eastern Europe, ARTMargins, the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and Short Film Studies; she has also contributed illustrations for Argus Magazine.

Ephemerality of the everyday, troubles inherent in transiency of existence, and uprooting of historically dominant concepts of structuring of the phenomenal world are some of the issues ephemeral art is integrally linked to. A clear definition of ephemeral art is difficult to give in a straightforward, formulaic way, as both material and conceptual sides of the problem need to be addressed. Materiality is probably the most easily defined. As ephemeral comes from Greek word εφήμερος – ephemeros, which literally means living but a day or short-lived, it could be concluded that ephemeral arts are often made from materials and things that have short duration and form-holding capacity, such as sand, snow, or ice, or more often from materials that tend to decompose or change through natural processes, such as the case in Land art. It can also understand a performance or other artistic form of expression where human body and bodily actions are main ‘materials’ of a work. With the development of modern technologies ephemerality is achieved through the utilization of light, image projection, and other modes of temporary image display and creation. Conceptually, however, ephemeral art is harder to pin down. It is not enough just to refer to transience of material, but also to ideal world where eternal and ephemeral are in constant clinch.

Ernest Zacharevic, Street Artwork in Georgetown, Penang. Image via angloitalianfollowus.com

Definition of Ephemeral with a Help from Baudelaire and Benjamin

Before turning to concrete examples of ephemeral arts, it is not superfluous to make a short detour into theory of two prominent thinkers of modern times, Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, which would help clarify materialist/conceptual clinch of ephemeral and the eternal. For both theorists ephemeral comes as a consequence of modernity, where speeding up of the everyday conditions the nature of how artwork is produced and consumed. For Baudelaire ephemeral of modernity is its heroic part, from which eternal can be distilled. He very much preserves the theoretical input of the previous ages where eternal is something creatives should seek to represent; it is an ideal hovering above the transient. Benjamin, on the other hand, de-classicizes the notion of the eternal and positions it in a dialectical relation to the transitory, where in modernity transitoriness itself is eternalized. In modern and contemporary productions ephemeral is both defined by the materiality of the work and its conceptual underpinnings. Although structured as temporal, no matter how temporal it may be, ephemeral art also renders our transient experiences as eternal conditions of contemporaneity.

JR makes the Louvre Pyramid disappear, 2016. Image via edition.cnn.com

Ephemeral Art and Its Many Forms

Ephemeral art is inherently modern and contemporary. It is a staple of many artistic movements and forms, but perhaps the most prominent examples could be find in street and graffiti art. The accessibility of the form makes street and graffiti arts not just widely present as an artistic practice, but also easy to destroy or alter. Land art and the necessity to interfere with the nature is another form conditioned by the natural cycles and changes, while performances and different happenings are usually one-time occurrences that are preserved only through images or other documents. Ephemeral art cannot become a part of a museum or gallery as it is not embodied in any permanent form. It was raised to prominence in 1960s by Joseph Beuys and Fluxus group. They used cheap and mass-produced objects and turned them into carriers of subversive messages, and through performances and happenings stated their disaccord with modern world. Richard Long created his artworks while walking through nature, while Beuys created social sculpture with aim to help in restructuring of society and environment. In what follows, several examples of different ephemeral art will be presented and explained.

Michael Heizer – Double Negative, 1969 – 1970. Image via youtube.com

Land Art – Transience of Nature

By the end of the 1960s many creatives started to avoid gallery spaces and turned to nature – mountains, deserts, and lake and sea shores as sites for their art. Site-specific artworks emerged in different shapes, but manipulations with natural environment were among its dominant methods. Following minimalist formulations, Land art, considered by some as a regressive force, nonetheless developed into a prominent artistic movement. Transience and ephemeral character of these works are well documented, as many works lost its original shape due to changes that are out of creators’ control. Michael Heizer’s Double Negative is among the first prominent earthwork which consists of two trenches cut into the eastern edge of the Mormon Mesa in Nevada. The trenches together are 1,500 feet long. The scale of this piece is so large that viewers cannot observe it as a whole from the ground when they visit it. Over time, due to erosion the artwork changed, raising the questions could it still be observed as an original artwork? Or have these changes destroyed the original work, making it a short-lived art before the first stone rolled down?

Petr Pavlensky – Fixation, Image via REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Ephemeral Pain – Performances of Petr Pavlensky

Controversial Russian artist became world-known through his subversive performances, in which he subjects his body to extreme conditions. Inflicting pain on himself is part of his politically charged public acts which reached wider public through photo-documentation. His acts are staged in public spaces, and often include intervention of police forces. Pavlenski’s performances are temporary but nonetheless their effect resonates within viewers long after they were finished. In one of them, he affixed his scrotum with a nail to the pavement on the Red Square, and remained there, naked on the ground, until removed by the authorities. In others, he cut a piece of his ear, or laid naked on the ground wrapped in barbed wire in front of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg. Not just being ephemeral in their duration, his performances on conceptual level attack transience and ephemerality of memory but also contemporary issues of apathy and fatalism in Russia.

From Street Art and Graffiti to Super Ephemeral Art

Arguably the most ephemeral of artistic forms, street artworks and graffiti are remarks on time and as such are destined to disappear and change. As Roy English explains when prompted with the questions of how he feels when his works are painted over: “I don’t believe Street Art is meant to be permanent. If the owner of the building wants it down, if someone paints over it to paint something new, it’s all fine because it’s fulfilled its purpose…These moments are meant to mark time, and to remark on times. And times change.“ Street artwork of Ernest Zacharevic in Georgetown, Penang, commissioned by the local authorities is one of the examples of transience of such forms. Weather conditions and poor quality of the buildings on which his works are applied on this Malaysian island contribute to the works’ partial disappearance. A subgroup of street and graffiti art named super ephemeral art takes the transience of this form to another level. Instead of using spray paint and other usual tools, artistic duo SWEATSHOPPE uses electric paint rollers to create art. Electric rollers work in concert with video projector in creation of images on the walls. The result is only visible during its creation, but SWEATSHOPPE uses camera to record each event, creating in this way a mixture of performance, street and video art.

Cau Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002. Image via atpdiary.com

What Does Ephemeral Mean in Contemporary World

In 2002 in New York, Cau Guo-Qiang created a light piece that only lasted a few moments. Transient Rainbow was a firework meticulously arranged so as when fired it created an aesthetic effect surpassing traditional fireworks spectacle. Jenny Holzer, neo-conceptual artist uses light-projected text onto public buildings in creation of her art. Through modern and contemporary history such and similar examples abound. Leaving the permanence of gallery and museum spaces aside, creatives became increasingly interested in temporality of effects they created and still create. However, talking about a coherent ephemeral art movement would be an overstatement considering the versatility of materials, forms and even temporal duration of each piece that may come under such category. Creatives use ephemerality of materials and transience of experiences as statements upon contemporary societies and swift changes we are facing every day. As such, ephemeral art is both conceptually and materially the reflective of the time we live in today and therefore multifaceted as reality itself.

Editors’ Tip: Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works: 2004-2014

One of the contemporary creatives who works in the domain of ephemeral arts, Andy Goldsworthy has presented in this book approximately 200 of his pieces from a series of over thousand he created from 2001 onward. They are arranged in chronological order and besides the final artworks his creative process, interactions with places, materials, things and passage of time and seasons are also recorded. Travelling from home and around the world, Goldsworthy creates his works and sculpture almost on a daily basis from materials and conditions he encounters. Originally from Scotland, he is inspired by Scottish landscape, mountain regions or France and Spain, streets of New York, Glasgow or Rio de Janeiro. Materials he uses for his sculpture are earth, snow, ice, rocks, rain, sunlight or shadows. Ephemerality of his works are bound with meanings of memory, vitality, permanence, growth and decay.

Featured images:Ernest Zacharevic, Street Art in Georgetown, Penang, image via asiadreaming.wordpress.com; Sokar Uno – The Artist and his muse, Andy Goldsworthy – Artwork; Chris Drury – Heart of Reeds, Images via Widewalls archive. All images used for illustrative purposes only.

6 Ephemeral Art Forms You Won’t Want to Miss

Tired of visiting the same old museums, finding yourself craning over tourists to get that perfect picture of the diminutive Mona Lisa only to find a better reproduction in the museum shop? Sure, museums have their big fans, and were else are you going to see a collection of static art that just, well, stands there for time immemorial? Museum alternatives abound, but what’s an art lover/museum hater to do?

Temporary, or ephemeral art has a now-you-see-it-then-you-don´t quality to it. It may be constructed for the viewer, as a form of prayer, or even for the joy of the art itself. If you’re looking for a way to infuse art into your very pores while waiting on not a single museum line nor padding down a single hard marble museum floor amid the clicks and whirs of your fellow humans’ preferred recording devices, consider the following six forms of art that are as unique as the artists that create them.

Sandcastles

For artwork that absolutely will not stand the test of time, particularly on a windy, heavy-surf beach that’s subject to rain, nothing can beat the sandcastle. Kids’ versions with moats and scavenged trash these are not. Rather they are works of art that take hours (and sometimes teams) to construct.

One little-known secret is that dirty sand works better than pristine sand, as the grains of sand cling to one another a little better. Mid June brings crowds to Newport Beach, Oregon for the sandcastle building contest there, but true professionals will also be found at the US Open Sandcastle building contest which is holding its 30th annual competition on August 8th, 2010 in Imperial Beach California.

These temporary artworks won’t last long, so you’ll have to be there or crane to get a better look at your friends’ photos.

>>look for cheap flights to Oregon

Sand painting

Religious sand art is present in many parts of Asia, particularly in Tibet. The sand mandala (from the Sanskrit mandala meaning essence, containing or circle circumference) is a colorful, almost kaleidoscopic circle designed by Buddhist monks and then filled in with sand using a series of funnels, bags and scrapers.

The mandalas are made of crushed sand or rock, though crushed lentils and other materials may be used. Mandalas are also present in Hinduism, where they may also be called Yantra. In both cases, mandalas contain religious symbols, and are not meant to be preserved. The making of the mandala is a form of worship by the person who makes it.

>>book Asia airfare

Ice Sculpture

Carving a giant block of ice into a recognizable glittering figure isn’t quite the same as standing on the beach under the hot sun, but it’s got that pop-culture element, and the results can be spectacular. Tools include a chain saw, drills with different bits, hand saws, picks and chippers, and of course, tongs. The usual uniform is somewhat unbecoming, with rubber boots and gloves being practically de rigueur. To buy your own ice carving supplies (including giant trays in which to freeze the ice blocks), follow that link.

For those of us who are less likely to hack at a piece of ice, and more likely to want to go see one, the winter festival in Quebec is a good option, or for the more intrepid, go to Harbin in northeastern China, where Siberia-like winter temperatures may drop to nearly 40 below. To see a more complete list of winter and snow festivals, click there. These competitions tend to take place in the winter, so plan on bundling up and heading out to see them in January or February.

>>look for flights to Quebec City

Butter sculpture

Moving away from the frozen-solid and towards something a little warmer, are the different types of butter sculpture. The oldest instance of butter sculpture is actually a Tibetan religious artform called Torma, in which butter is mixed with other ingredients, such as flour and colorful dyes either as ritual items or to later be consumed. The monks work the cold butter with their hands as though it were clay, and form it into various shapes of religious significance.

A more mass-market kind of butter sculpture consists of shaping a giant yellow cow out of “pure creamy Iowa butter,” over a frame of wood and wire mesh at the Iowa State Fair every August. The tradition is long-lasting, though the cow is not. The cow has been reproduced every year since 1910, and versions have cropped up in states as far-flung as New York. Other themes such as the Last Supper have also been created, though plans to build a model of Michael Jackson were thankfully, scrapped.

>>book New York airfare

Carved vegetables

Many of the garnishes that appear on your plate at a Japanese or Thai restaurant are truly works of art. If you’ve ever wondered how to make those tiny birds or clever radish roses, or even a giant carved watermelon where the red flesh is visible through the green rind, consider buying this book. The website also has links to different sets of peelers and carving tools you may need for your next play-with-your-food project.

But a better-known type of vegetable art can be seen mainly in late October, and mainly in the United States. Despite cold temperatures, the carved pumpkin (or Jack o’lantern) doesn’t usually stand much of chance of making it far into November, making it somewhat ephemeral as well.

Between neighborhood vandals, rot and the local fauna, these artworks are mainly best enjoyed on their shining night, which is Halloween, or October 31st. Impromptu parties abound, with children and adults hacking at pumpkins with slippery hands and old kitchen implements and seeded pumpkiny pulp stuck to nearly every available surface. To see a giant collection of carved pumpkins, join the crowds that pour into Keene, New Hampshire every year for their giant display at the Pumpkin Fest. They usually have more than 20,000 pumpkins, though they recently lost their most-carved-pumpkins crown to Camp Sunshine, a summer camp for sick children, which held its own Jack o’lantern contest in Boston in 2006. Tune in this year to see if Keene wins its title back on Saturday, October 17th. More details here.

>>look for a cheap flight to Boston

Flower carpets

Carpets are usually long lasting, at least until someone spills grape juice on them. These carpets are made of flowers and flower petals, or of colored sawdust, to cover large surfaces and be seen from a distance. One very large display of this sort is the Tapis de Fleurs in Brussels, Belguim, which will be premiered this year on August 12th at 9 AM.

The concept for the first flower carpet in Brussels was developed by E. Stautemans, a landscape architect whose projects have included a massive carpet at Ghent of 164 x 42 meters, but the foreground of the Grand Place in Brussels is his favored setting, and this 77 by 44 meter carpet is still huge and impressive. For more information, visit the here.

Other flower carpets are constructed around the world at Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday that takes place in June. Carpets may be seen in areas as diverse as Tenerife in the Canary Islands, inside the Arundel Cathedral in Arundel, England, and of course in Rome. These carpets filled with religious symbols are meant to be admired, and at the end of the day, trodden upon, making them a truly short-lived affair.

>>look for Brussels airfare

With so many continually changing works of art (or kitsch) to see in so many locations, there’s no reason to limit yourself to museums, canvases or mundane sculpture materials. There’s bound to be something decorated, painted, carved or cast somewhere near you. Tell us about it!

Read more about:

  • The World’s Best Cities for Viewing Street Art
  • Eight Paintings Every Traveler Should See (And Where to See Them)
  • 9 of the Coolest Art Hotels in the World
  • 15 of the Most Beautiful Subway Stops in the World

Photo credits:
Sand cats by ThisParticularGreg on Flickr, Dogs playing poker by kandinski on Flickr, Sand dinosaur by wikimedia, Sand painting by wikicommons, Ice sculpture by Today is a good day on Flickr, Butter Harry by jakebouma on Flickr, Butter cow by wikimedia, Watermelon by bluemodern on Flickr, JackOLanterns by anonymous to you on Flickr, Carpet by vdhaeyere on Flickr

What Is Ephemeral Art?

Ephemeral art can have several meanings, though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. One type explicitly calls for the use of environmental or natural media. The other calls for materials and compositions that speak to the notion of ephemerality, or time itself.

The first type, that concerning nature and natural media, is described as a genre that combines said natural elements with artistic creativity. As a phenomenon, pieces in this genre are intended to allow the viewer to perceive art and nature working as one, within a single unit of expression. The basic underlying intellectual or conceptual framing of the genre proceeds from an increased awareness of the human relationship with nature and an impulse to work with it rather than in opposition. Some of the common compositional elements found in this branch of ephemeral art are stones, earth, trees and plants.

In a slightly different vein, the other form of ephemeral art calls explicit attention to the idea of the transitory impermanence of life, objects and their arrangement. Examples of ephemeral artifacts, or ephemera, include such diverse things as ancient land art, chalk drawings on a sidewalk or ice sculptures. Buddhist sand mandalas, which are created with the express intention of dismantling them, provide another strong example. G. Augustine Lynas, Daniel Doyle, Niall Magee and Alan Magee (the latter three comprising the collaborative Duthain Dealbh) are further examples of sculptors committed to the use of ephemeral media in their sculpture, particularly in using materials such as snow, ice, sand and even fire. In such a way, artists can directly experience a relationship between themselves, their creations and the passage of time, as the art forms give way to external forces and the fleeting integrity of their constituent components.

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