Summer of Love


Tokens of Love

by Mary Erickson, Ph.D., with Arizona art teacher Allison Lee

Tokens of Love is a three-lesson unit plan designed in conjunction with the Summer of Love exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Preview the Summer of Love exhibition PowerPoint


  • Theme in Life: We all prize our relationships with others.
  • Theme in Art: An artwork can say how we feel about someone without words.

Key Questions

Lessons approach the themes through key questions about the art of others as well as questions about our own art.

InterpretWhat feeling does this artwork express?  

PlanWhat do I want my artwork to express?

 LookWhat textures do I see?

 ChooseHow can I use texture to enrich the surface/s of my artwork?

Community Connections
We have all given a gift to someone we love, respect or care about. Sometimes people even give gifts to cities or organizations to express their care or commitment. Did you know that the late Senator Barry Goldwater gave the Heard Museum his collection of Hopi katsina dolls so local residents and visitors to the Valley of the Sun could see them? Did you know that the Order of Odd Fellows gave the historic Petersen House to the city of Tempe? Next time you visit a museum or see something marked with a plaque, take time to read the text and you may learn about generous people who have given gifts as tokens showing how they feel and what or whom they care about.

One: Expressions of Love, Care and Respect
Two: Exploring 2D and 3D Cacti in Art at the Tempe Center for the Arts
Three: My Token of Love       

Expressions of Love, Care and Respect PowerPoint
Enriching a Surface with Texture PowerPoint
Summer of Love Exhibition Preview PowerPoint
Questor Questions about 2D & 3D Cacti in Art (pdf)
Tokens of Love PowerPoint

Please assemble a diverse sampling of textures visible from the front of the classroom by students, such as a purse with embossed leather, a fussy pillow, a rubber doormat, a woven basket, etc.

  • Clay supplies
  • clay
  • slip
  • sponges
  • rib tools
  • pin tools
  • rolling pins
  • wire cutters
  • texture tools (various objects like combs, forks, raw noodles, matchbox cars, etc.)
  • spray bottles with water
  • wood boards (bats)
  • plastic bags
  • towels
  • rags

OPTIONAL: Paper bags (one bag for each small group) each holding several sample textures, such as tree bark, tire tread, rough and smooth fabric swatches, fake fur, playing card, corrugated cardboard with top layer of paper removed, wire mesh, etc.

OPTIONAL: Newsprint and charcoal or soft graphite pencils

Joshua Roffler, Tempe History Museum
Seventh and eighth grade art students at Chandler's Arizona College Prep, Oakland
Desert Botanical Garden

Estimated Time
Previsit Lesson =  50-100 minutes
TCA Visit Lesson = Field Trip
Postvisit Lesson = 250-750  minutes