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Looking for an inventive arts lesson plan? Street art guide, maps may be just the ticket

48242 full
48242 full

Street art has a long history in Los Angeles. From graffiti artists like MEAR ONE and SMEAR to the internationally-known street artist Shepard Fairey, outdoor works of art are sprawled across the city.

Teachers who want to expose their students to the form may want to visit the online magazine Mental Floss. It recently posted an illustrated guide to street art terms

Here's a sampling from the piece by Jessica Allen.

WHEATPASTE

Swoon

An adhesive made from equal parts flour and water; also the name for a type of street art that relies on it. To put up a wheatpaste, an artist covers an area with the paste, then unfurls a poster, drawing, painting, or photo made off site. After smoothing out the paper’s wrinkles and bubbles, another smear of wheatpaste goes on top. The result is sometimes called a paste-up.    

STENCIL

Icy and Sot

A design cut into heavy paper or cardboard, then spray-painted onto a wall. A stencil may be a phrase, an image, or a combination thereof. Some stencils are one-offs; others are repeated throughout a geographic area or around the world. Blek le Rat, the so-called father of stencil graffiti, popularized the form via images of rats he began putting up in Paris in the early 1980s. 

And if you want to make it a field trip, this best-of list from LAist includes a slideshow of street art that you can check out around the city. The street art blog Melrose & Fairfax posts regular updates on street artwork found in Los Angeles.

Have you ever used graffiti or street art lessons in the classroom? Let us in the comments below. 

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