black white coloring sheet of Shantell Martin's drawing

At Home: Make Your Own Mark With Shantell Martin

black white coloring sheet of Shantell Martin's drawing

Shantell Martin © 2019. www.shantellmartin.art

Shantell Martin is a multimedia installation artist. Her exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Shantell Martin: Words and Lines features Martin’s signature black and white drawings that explore intersectionality, identity, and play. Download a coloring page she created to get started and use this lesson spark to continue your exploration.

Basically, put the pen down, and then just go with it. The pen knows where it is going, and I’ve gotten very good at following it...I sit down and almost meditate and draw. I might be inspired by some facts or key words, or some thoughts. That might inspire, or almost be like the springboard, for when I do sit down and start drawing, but it doesn’t lead it. And that’s because, I want it to be what it wants to be. I want to allow it versus force it.

—Shantell Martin

Guiding Questions

  • How could you invite children to put a pen to paper and just start following it? How could starting with one word, like “you” or “well,” spark their creative action?
  • What different materials (paper, fabric, sidewalk, paper bags, recycled materials) could act as the canvas for drawing? Shantell’s words and lines can be found on walls, windows, sneakers, and clothing.
  • How could you limit the colors of writing tools to pose a creative challenge to children? Shantell’s exhibition at the DAM include black and white only.

Related Creative Activities

Kid posing in front of red dinosaur sculpture
Lesson Spark

Connect the Dots

Sui Jianguo's Made in China
Made in China, by artist Sui Jianguo focuses on China's exportation of goods. Jianguo’s intention is to get viewers to consider who is making a product, where it is going, and why. Keeping that intention in mind, consider how consumerism (something that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts) might affect you personally.
Dozens of colorful blankets stacked on top of each other to make a very tall tower
Lesson Spark

Blanket Story

Marie Watt is a multidisciplinary artist who engages communities in the creation of her work. As a citizen of the Seneca Nation, Watt models her approach on Indigenous ways of sharing knowledge and learning. For this piece, she asked individuals from the local Denver community to contribute a blanket along with its story.