In this lesson plan, children get to experience the transformative power of art. By creating a hat that explores ways of making and combining found materials, young artists will transform their appearance and explore how their feelings may change as a result.
Our permanent collection at the de Young includes contemporary American artworks that reflect both the personal visions of the artists and the collective concerns of their communities. This project was inspired by Untitled (Soundsuit) by Nick Cave from 2008. Cave is an American sculptor, performance artist, and dancer. His Soundsuits combine art, fashion, and performance into incredibly detailed and intricate wearable sculptures. Both playful and serious, they hide the identity of the wearer, allowing for a freeing experience that erases gender, race, and class. The first Soundsuit was made in response to racism and discrimination that the artist experienced as an African American man. Cave states that the suits are like a secondary skin or a suit of armor, and wearing one can feel protective and liberating. He has made more than 500 Soundsuits, and some are 10 feet tall! We encourage you to look up the energetic and joyful performances of dancers wearing Soundsuits online.