Resources for Teachers and Learners
Teaching about Collage
Young People’s Collage: Connections With Artists Past and Present
A word (or two) about Young People’s Collage
This show is an exciting culmination of an eight-month online collage class, Experimenting with Collage, during which nine homeschool students, ages 10–18, from Centre County, Pennsylvania and Gökova, Turkey, were introduced to collage artists, techniques, and art history. Among the many things they discovered, they learned how events, such as war, have defined art movements.
The students created small studies in class—such as making a transfer of a photograph using packaging tape—before making the collages in this show. In the same way English students use mentor texts to understand great works of literature, these students used the works of collage artists to inspire and inform their own collage-making. They also practiced giving each other supportive feedback and asking helpful questions about their collages.
They were intrigued to learn about the works contemporary collage artists were creating, and the “how and why” behind their work. Short videos, quotes, and the collages of Eunice Parsons, Lance Letscher, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Deborah Roberts, Maria Berrio, and Betye Saar captivated and motivated the students. Artists from the past, such as Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden, and Kurt Schwitters, became guides for the students as they followed the trajectory of collage from a fledgling art form to a well appreciated one.
Collage artist, Annette Makino, visited the class from her California studio. She shared her creative process of painting and tearing Japanese paper and encouraged the students to explore haiga, an artform combining haiku and visual art. There are several haiga in this show.
Henri Matisse wisely noted that creating art takes courage. These students are to be commended not only on their courage, but their curiosity and creative spirit as well. Please enjoy their works of art and their written reflections.