Open Studio: Dan Steinhilber

 In MOA Features

Welcome to Open Studio! Today we will be viewing a work of art by artist Dan Steinhilber, who takes ordinary, everyday objects and makes them into extraordinary abstract sculptures!

Exploring the Artwork

Dan Steinhilber (1972 – ), Untitled, 2008, paper and wire (hangers), 178 x 80 x 56 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Inside the main entrance to the Museum of Art, you will find Dan Steinhilber’s hanging sculpture.
• What materials are traditional sculptures made out of? (clay, marble, bronze)
• What is Dan Steinhilber’s sculpture made of? Can you tell from the photo?
• Why might this artist have chosen to use something so ordinary, like paper hangers, to create his work?






Dan Steinhilber (1972 – ), Untitled, 2008, paper and wire (hangers), 178 x 80 x 56 inches.


There are many things that we purchase, use only once, and then discard–like tin cans, water bottles, plastic forks, and straws. We use many other items until they are worn out, and then throw them away. Dan Steinhilber breaks this throw-away cycle by using these common materials to create exciting works of art.
• What are some of the things you throw away each day?
• Which of these objects could be used to make art?
Perhaps you are beginning to recognize that works of art can be made out of just about ANYTHING!

Dan Steinhilber’s work is an example of abstract art, which means that the work does not look like things from our everyday world but uses various shapes, colors, and textures to create interesting forms. With abstract art, you can use your own imagination to decide what the artwork looks like!
• What does this sculpture look like to you?
• Why do you think the artist chose not to give the artwork a descriptive title?
• If you were to title this work, what would you call it?

Art Activity

At home, find some everyday items that we often throw away. With your parents’ permission, rummage through some of your kitchen cabinets, storage closets, or sewing baskets to see if there might be any items from which you could create a fun work of art!

Choose one of these objects and think about it “abstractly.”
• What does the shape remind you of?
• Does the object look like it could be part of a larger item–a person, a car, or an animal? Or maybe something totally different?

Use your imagination and decide how you can turn this object into something completely different. You can add a drawing in order to relate your work of art to something from the everyday world. Or, you can use your item to make a totally abstract artwork–one that is made of fun shapes, colors, and textures but does not have any connection to everyday objects.

1. Attach your object to the paper using tape or glue.
2. With markers, add a drawing or designs to your object to transform it into something
3. Take a minute to look at your artwork, then give it a title that seems to match its personality!


Share your creations with us! Post on social media using #byumoa and #moafromhome

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