Grades 1 – 3

Begun in 2015, this pilot workshop introduced elementary school students to shape and form through the art and architecture of Donald Judd. This fun, multiday workshop culminated in making wildly imaginative floor pillows the childrencan use at school. Students first learned about the different properties of circles, triangles, and polygons by tracing and cutting shapes in their school classroom. Students then visited Chinati’s collection and embarked on an interactive “shape and form hunt” throughout the grounds. With the aid of a Chinati shape-finding booklet, we identified the semicircle of the artillery shed’s Quonset hut roofs, the rectangular 100 works in mill aluminum, the squares within Judd’s concrete works and so forth. We also identified shapes in two and three dimensions – that semicircle is actually a part of a half cylinder! Finally, we discussed the contrast between nature and Judd’s work and between geometric and organic shapes.

Our day at the museum ended in the Art Lab, where Chinati educators demonstrated pillow-making techniques and engaged students in making a“journey drawing”. Over the next few days, the students cut new shapes and hand-sewed them onto fabric. Chinati educators arrived at school with sewing machines and helped secure the felt forms. After attaching sturdy denim back panels, students stuffed their pillows, creating new places to sit in their classroom.


Chinati’s educational and public programming is supported with generous grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Brown Foundation, the Cowles Charitable Trust, the Horace W Goldsmith Foundation, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, the Permian Basin Area Foundation, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust, the Susan Vaughan Foundation, and the City of Marfa.