I have to confess I held a certain disdain for holiday art projects. Over the years, I softened those stances. It’s dark and bleary in February here in New England and Valentine’s day comes just at the right time to distract and entertain us. Plus, some great artists were inspired by Valentine’s Day themes. Jim Dine and his hearts, for example.  And who doesn’t love the romance of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss?  Or Robert Indiana’s “Love” Sculptures? So, in what ways do art teachers incorporate Valentine’s Day themes into their art program? Or in activities for an art club? Here is some inspiration for you!

  1. Make an art history-inspired valentines day card. The Lesson is right here at My Art Lesson.
  2. Art teacher Crista Graham McCann created the “Heart of Bethany Art Tour” to foster positive connections between the school and the community. Students in all of her classes made tiny heart art on 4-inch canvases. She mounted them on seven display boards. She found seven businesses in their community that agreed to display the art. Students were encouraged to visit each location and get their paper stamped and collect a mystery letter to unscramble a famous artist’s name (Jim Dine). The first 100 to turn in their stamped paper and the artist’s name won a prize! Taco Bell. donated 100 free taco certificates.”      
  3. Ceramic Art Teacher Erika Dietsh shared that she challenged her advanced Ceramic students to a quick-fire challenge which was also an ode to Valentine’s Day.  They had 15 minutes to create an anatomical heart sculpture. Everyone was given a small printout of an anatomical heart. Students were allowed to use any tools they wanted but no extra time was given if they had to get up to get something. She reports there was lots of laughter, and stretches of intense silence and at the end, her classes voted on which they thought turned out closest to the picture.
  4. Amy Denys’s classes learned about artists  JGoldcrown’s Bleeding Hearts and Love Wall Murals.

    She prepared by collecting toilet paper rolls and shaped them into hearts. Students then dipped the hearts into paint and used them to stamp the heart shapes on the paper. She credits this idea to Andrea Nelson from FaceBook Reels

  5. Art teacher Richelle Lietz made Neurographic Heart Art with her student and installed all the individual works into a heart shape that brightened a barren hallway.
  6. Middle School Art Teacher Karyn Thurman created Jim Dine-inspired art with her students. She writes, “I  showed a quick video about Jim Dine, each table was covered with big sheets of different colored paper and they used a 9×9 square mixed media paper. Standing up and only using their fingers they painted the heart first then played with the color!”
  7. Use this YouTube Video to create Ceramic roses.
  8. Explosion Boxes! Directions here.
  9. Karissa Bowen created these Flaming Valentines with her middle schoolers, like Notans but hearts.
  10. Janet Neufeld created woven hearts with her students and then they were sold in a local gallery. Instructions here. 
  11. And my favorite, Katrina Rane Smith did Valentine’s day flash challenge with her grade 10 students as they embarked on a unit about anatomy.
    She challenged them to create an anatomical heart drawing (they had 4 different heart reference images) and make it into something more. “Boy did they deliver!” she wrote.