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Lesson Plans

ART IDEA: Cornell> Portrait Box Collage

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
MaryAnn Kohl (maryann)
Tue, 24 Aug 99 23:58:06 -0700

I thought I would send one of my favorite art ideas to share with you.
This activity comes from page 94 of my book, Discovering Great Artists.
If you were presenting the idea to kids, you might or might not go into
the art history of who Cornell was. The idea stands alone as a great art
idea for kids from kindergarten on up. Kids love making something all
about themselves, their favorite subjects!!

Portrait Box Collage
(based on the style and technique of the great master, Joseph Cornell,
Cornell loved to collect things to put in his box constructions,
especially precious objects and small things of great beauty.
A box collage is a 3D construction built in a shallow box, to hang
on a wall, holding the collage and framing it. Kids create a box collage
that tells about who the artist is - a special self-portrait collage.
Thank about things that are special, like a favorite color, special
souvenirs, collections, or something created. Magazine pictures or photos
could be used to show things the artists likes to do now or hopes to do
someday. Include a scrap of a favorite pair or outgrown jeans, a little
toy from the artist's past, or a lock of hair. The collage should
express the artist's special personality.

special, personal collect collage items
cardboard box or box lid, about 9x12" with 2-3" high sides
tempera paint and paintbrush, optional
colored markers
newspaper to cover work area
magazines or photos, optional
string or yarn, optional

1. An hour or two before beginning, paint the box a solid color, like
white or black, inside and out. Dry completely.
2. Spread the collection of collage elements out on the worktable. Think
about how the items can be arranged inside the box. use all of the items,
or only a few.
3. To build the box collage, follow any of these ideas or think up others:
- Glue things to the back and sides of the box
- Draw, paint, or color on the back and sides of the box.
- Poke holes in the sides and stick things across the box.
- Glue things to little chunks of wood or foam and attach them to
the back of the box so they stick out.
- Set things on the bottom of the box.
- Hang things from the top of the box with string or yarn
4. Tape a piece of clear plastic over the front of the box to make it
look more like a framed work of art.
5. When finished, hang the box collage on the wall or stand it on a shelf.

MaryAnn F. Kohl (WA)