Name of Project: T-shirt painting for May Day volunteers on Free Thursday Nite at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Grade Level or Age of Participant: Open to all age groups

School, Teacher and Classroom: Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Krista Pearson

Teaching Artist:  Vedashree Bankar

Overview of Project

T-shirt painting is open for all community members visiting the MIA who volunteered to assist the MIA with their preparations for the May Day parade. We will paint and silk screen t-shirts using a sunburst theme (artwork). Participants will be given to option for application of the sunburst: 1) Screen printing 2) Acrylic with brushes.

Both mediums consider that participants come from a wide range of ages and experience in printmaking and painting and some may wish to translate the imagery on their own. In addition, time is a factor and the participants can decide how much time they wish to invest.

Project Outcome Objectives

Participants will: 

1. Print tshirts utilizing the technique of screenprinting

2. Design and customize their t-shirt in a personal way

Prior Knowledge

None. I will have two examples of different ways to print and design the shirt. They can choose a method and given stencils or use the materials in whatever way they like .

Lesson Preparation Timeline

Tw weeks prior: Experiment more with the materials 

One week prior: Create samples with the materials

Day of presentation: Prepare the room, move tables for painting and screen printing, lay out materials, create extra stencils, put out aprons, clear drying racks

Examples of Artwork

I will show the examples I make. I am planning to make two examples with different printing techniques: screenprinting and painting with acrylics on fabric


In this particular lesson, the focus is on participation and a product the participants value. If people walk away with a tshirt and wear it to the May Day event we will know that we are successful.


1)     T-shirts white 

2)     Screen ready for  screenprinting

3)     Screen printing ink - yellow and orange

4)     Sharpies 

5)     Tape for screenprinting 

6)     Acrylic paint and brushes, various sizes 

7)     Sponge 

8)     Newspapers and other scrap paper 

9)     Drying rack 

10)  Paper Napkins 

        11)  Aprons and gloves

 Learning Activities and Timing

  1. Preparation - mix inks, set up screen, create a couple of samples, put signs up in MIA to direct participant, review plan with volunteers - 45 minutes

  2. Run activity. One person will man the silk screen, 2 volunteers will assist with t-shirt painting.

  3. Participants will collect the t-shirts after they are dry. They will go visit other Free Thursday Nite options at the MIA this evening while it dries.

TeachING ARtist Reflection

What problems are anticipated with this lesson?

People wouldn’t show up to my table to paint on t-shirts.To address this we have made posters and spread the word through the May Day Community members.

How does this project fit into overall curriculum planning for the subject areas?

The community members will directly engage into the activity by creating and participating.

How will your students’ work be shared with the community?

They will wear their shirts on May day parade day if they like. That itself will be out in the community.

How will you receive feedback on your teaching methodology and quality of student work?

The quality of this lesson shows if participants like what they did and want to wear the shirts in the future.