There is much more to Black history than civil rights activists and inventors. This project explores the cultural contributions of African American artist, Romare Bearden, and gives you the opportunity to make your own artwork inspired by his! Romare Bearden’s work covered a wide range of techniques, themes, and styles but he was best known for his collage work. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina but spent most of his life in New York City. Bearden’s work focused on the African American culture and experience as well as the unity and cooperation within the African American community. He used a combination of images from magazines and colored paper, and would work in other textures such as sandpaper, graphite and paint to compose his collages.
For this project you will be using a glue stick, scissors, magazine cut outs, markers, a selection of paper scraps, large sheet of construction paper to make a collage in the style of Romare Bearden. Of course, as with any art project, you can use these instructions as inspiration and use your creativity to make whatever you would like.
Step 1: Find a large sheet of paper or tape several sheets of paper together to be used as your background.
Step 2: Decide what kind of buildings you are going to depict. In our city, for the most part, stores are together in one part of town and houses are in the neighborhoods. In bigger cities, those things can be right next to each other. Many kinds of buildings can be on a city block, such as apartments, restaurants, different stores, banks, police and fire stations, libraries, museums, schools, pet stores, hair salons, churches, etc.
Step 3: Look through your selection of paper scraps to find shapes that can be turned into buildings.
Step 4: After you have found the pieces you would like to use for buildings you can begin gluing them down.
Step 5: Next, find or cut paper that can be used for architectural details. (Windows, doors, awnings, etc.)
Step 6: When you have everything glued down for your buildings look through your magazine cut outs to find things to add details to your block (food, pets, etc.). You can also just add people in the windows or on the street. Letters can also be cut out for signs.
*Note* You can use markers if you want to draw in details to your pictures.
Step 7: Let everything dry. Then you can think of a name for the street your block is on!
If this activity has your creative juices flowing, consider submitting your art work for possible inclusion in Richland Library's literary magazine, Kids in Print.