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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

Sarah's Special Sunday: Books & More Collage

Recently, the Art Studio J-Term intern, SarahRose Adan, designed a Special Sunday project for museum guests. She planned the event, sorted and prepared materials, and introduced visitors to the project throughout the day. The following is her description of the project:

On a recent Sunday, we welcomed guests to participate in an exercise in collage and storytelling.  Using neutral, colored-collage papers, other previously printed papers, and markers, they were able to transform pictures out of magazines into different stories and works of art.

The project started with guests choosing from a selection of pictures from magazines that served as the base for their collage.  These pictures had great opportunities for addition and allowed for the guests to take what they wanted from the image and then still had the opportunities to add to it, or change it, or remove parts of the image entirely.  We told guests that these were the bases for their collage, and that this was to inspire them to tell their story, and make their art.

I was really inspired by artists who use collage and papercuts, such as Kara Walker, and the way they transform images with their own art, and that really guided the sorts of materials I presented for the project.  The pictures all had such incredible color so I complimented their vibrancy with a neutral collage palette. This meant that the collage papers were all black or grey, and that the markers were black, greys, and browns.

I also wanted the project to incorporate printed materials into the collages, from the base picture that was used, to the papers that would be added to it.  The neutral color palette of the collage papers also encouraged guests to use the papers at hand, and think about the way that it could be cut to affect the look of the piece they were making.

My initial experiment with this project (on the right of the above image) had a far greater range of possible materials to use, including items that had more color, but at the same time, it also felt a bit more limited.  An attempt to give myself all of the materials that I wanted meant that I almost didn’t have enough to work with, and had no idea where to start.  The second attempt with someone given a bit more of prompt and more curated materials (on the left of the above image) had a marked improvement with some opportunities that came from the materials themselves. 

However, no matter my initial intentions, as the day went on, it was interesting to see how the guests began to interact with the prompt in their own ways.  Some of them saw the opportunity to make a collage that really transformed the story.  Some took it as a chance to explore the color and the shapes.  Some guests added to the piece to enhance some aspect of it.  And others would take multiple pieces and combine them together to create an even greater piece of art than I could have ever imagined.



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 


by Meg Nicoll

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 10:57 am and is filed under Internship Program, Collage, Drawing, Mixed Media, Paper. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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