In today’s project we will feature magazine collage art in an unusual format: 3 dimensions. This project is based on one of my favorite artists and arts educators: Sister Corita Kent.
I recently teamed up with the Corita Art Center and Casa Esperanza (a community center that is part of the Immaculate Heart community) to develop an art project based on the work of Corita Kent. This art workshop explored Corita Kent’s use of three-dimensional cubes and collage.
Meet Corita Kent
Corita Kent was an artist and art teacher who taught at Immaculate Heart College in the 1950s and 1960s. She used everyday graphics as inspiration for her pop-art work in serigraph.
She also used her work to advocate for important social causes. Her inspiring legacy is palpable when you hear from her former students who have used her teachings as a springboard for their own careers and work. Her educational philosophy is summed up in the wonderful book Learning By Heart co-written with Jan Steward. My copy is well worn!
Today’s magazine collage art project is based on Corita and her students’ use of cardboard boxes as a “canvas.” Boxes were a perfect medium because they were inexpensive and doubled as structure to create walls. Corita and her students used them in several important exhibitions including Survival with Style and the Peace on Earth Exhibit for IBM Product Display Center in the 1960.
In both of these projects, Corita and her students collaged magazine images onto cardboard boxes which were then arranged in different ways to create both space and an artful compilation of images and type.
Corita Kent made use of a several techniques/medium repeatedly in her work. In this project we will be exploring the following three ideas she often used with her students:
- Collage The juxtaposition of type and image through found graphics.
- Viewfinders Corita used the technique of making a simple viewfinder out of paper that allowed students to isolate images and words as they worked.
- PLORK PLay + wORK When play meets work, creativity is unleashed! Playful exploration is critical for opening up our minds and solving problems. In this project, you will have time to PLORK with 3D collage.
Collage Cubes: Magazine Collage Art Project
First we’ll use a simple viewfinder to select and cut out images from magazines, mailers, and advertisements. Next we’ll glue the images to cube templates. Finally we’ll cut and form the 3D collage cubes. After that it’s time for PLORK! Stack and rearrange the cubes to form different combinations of words and images.
Magazine Collage Art Materials
- Glue Stick
- Collage Materials: magazines, comics, junk mail, newspaper, old greeting cards, what else?
Time needed: 25 minutes.
- Make the Viewfinder
Cut viewfinder template along bold solid line. Fold along dotted line. Cut along solid line. Unfold. Use the square as a viewfinder/stencil to outline collage shapes.
- Select images
Using the viewfinder/stencil, trace squares onto collage material.
- Cut out images
Cut out squares from magazine collage art materials.
- Glue images to template
Glue collage squares to cube template sides.
- Cut templates
Cut out cube templates.
- Fold templates
Fold templates and tabs along dotted lines.
- Form cube
Add glue to tabs. Press tabs into sides to form cubes. Add tape as necessary.
Observation & Reflections:
You’re done! Make a collection of these and then begin to stack and arrange them. This is your PLORK! As you you do this, think about the following:
- What comes to mind with each cube combination?
- What arrangements are pleasing to the eye?
- How does the meaning of text change when placed next to different images?
- How does the meaning of an image change when placed next to different images?
- If you enjoyed this magazine collage art project, I encourage you to explore the work of Corita Kent here at the Corita Art Center.
- For another project based on an incredible creative woman, head over to our architecture project based on the work of Norma Sklarek.