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Aspen Art Museum


Huma Bhabha Open Studio: The 5 Senses


In this activity, students create works of art using the five senses as inspiration.


Mixed media, writing, drawing, sculpture

Materials Paper, pencil, colored pencils, markers or crayons, clay, banana

Assignment 1: Listening/hearing

Turn off your TV.

Turn off your computer.

Turn off your phone.

Go outside.

Or stay inside.

(If you have a dog watch how they listen.)

Listen for 10 minutes.

Write down what you hear.

Assignment 2: Seeing/imagining

Look at the sky until you see a bird, and until you see an airplane, in no particular order.

Draw a bird and a plane.

Draw a bird far away.

Draw a bird close-up.

Draw a plane far away.

Draw a plane close-up.

Draw a plane bird.

Draw a bird plane.

Draw a bird brain.

Draw a plane brain.

Assignment 3: Smell

Go into the woods or a park … take many deep breaths.

Pick up a small stick or pinecone and take it home.

With a pencil draw whatever you brought back as accurately as possible.

Think about how the trees smelled while you draw.

What color would match that smell?

Assignment 4: Touch

Get some clay.

Play around with the clay for a while.

Make some simple geometric shapes … squares, triangles, etc… .

When you feel comfortable with the clay make little portraits of your family … including yourself … or anything that you love.

When done keep in a safe place.

Assignment 5: Taste

Eat a banana … eat two if possible.

Find out where the banana came from.

Learn everything about the country where the banana came from.

Why are there so many bananas in America?

Think about this … and why are bananas good for us.

Can you really slip on a banana?

Draw a cartoon of someone slipping on a banana.

Draw someone picking a banana.

Write at least two sentences describing the taste of a banana.

About the artist

Huma Bhabha

Born in 1962 in Karachi, Pakistan

Currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York

Known for her sculptures made of found objects and materials, and more recently for her large-scale over-painted and collaged photographs, Huma Bhabha received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Columbia University, New York. In 2011–12, Bhabha was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum; her work was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial; and in 2010 she also participated in Statuesque, an exhibition of sculpture at City Hall Park in New York organized by the Public Art Fund. In 2008 she participated in the 7th Gwangju Biennale in Korea and received the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Emerging Artist Award. Bhabha’s work been represented in group exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Arena Mexico Arte Contemporaneo in Guadalajara, Mexico; MOMA PS1 and the New Museum in New York; the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas; and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

AAM education programs are made possible by the Questrom Education Fund.