April 23, 2020

Sol LeWitt Maker Challenge

By Kris Hurst

About the Sol LeWitt Maker Challenge

(Video overview of Sol LeWitt Maker Challenge)

If you are familiar with Ignite Studio, you know that we love maker challenges. A maker challenge encourages you to “make” something based on a prompt. Past maker challenges have included creating with cardboard, Micro:bit coding, and a Monster Windsock Challenge.

For our Sol Lewitt Maker Challenge, we are learning about the artist Sol LeWitt and challenging you to create an art piece inspired by his work using everyday materials.

Who is Sol LeWitt?

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, born in 1928, was an American artist. LeWitt is the founder of both conceptual and minimalist art. Conceptual artists are interested in ideas and concepts rather than focusing on materials or techniques. LeWitt’s work is very basic, often linear and geometric, which is the nature of minimalist art. Instead of creating pieces in a studio, he would give a set of guidelines or simple directions for a museum to follow. The museum would designate people to execute the design, most often directly onto a gallery wall. They used everyday materials including pencil, crayon, and paint. Much like an architect uses a blueprint to lay out the framework for a building, LeWitt would outline the basic parameters of the piece. However, unlike a blueprint, the plans were left up to interpretation by the museum and participants. Museums could have the same “artwork” but entirely different compositions.

Wall Drawings

For example, Eric Doeringer followed LeWitt’s instruction for Wall Drawing 104 to make his own version of “10,000 random straight lines about four inches long.” The resulting wall has a delicate energy. Now think about the effect color could have made. What about thicker lines? What if the lines were grouped all in one corner? There are endless variations. Check out this time-lapse video to see how this piece came together.

For the Sol LeWitt Maker Challenge:

We are modifying a set of instructions from an original Sol LeWitt piece at the Boston Museum. The piece will involve making points and lines. You are welcome to use any medium to make your marks: pencil, crayons, string, sticks, etc. You are able to use any material as your surface: paper, walls, carboard, your driveway, etc.

The Maker Challenge: Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing Boston Museum

  • On any surface, place twenty points at random. The points should be evenly distributed over the surface area.
  • Connect all of the points with straight lines.

Seems pretty simple, but every person or group will have different results! And we want to see them! Please, share your Sol LeWitt Maker Challenge pieces on Facebook and tag Hamilton East Public Library using the #IgniteAtHEPL. Since this is a challenge, we will choose a winner based on the following criteria:

  • following directions
  • creative use of materials
  • execution

Ignite will announce a winner in June, so stay tuned to HEPL’s Facebook page.