Figure 1. Paper collage activity example. Collage template design by Linda Klippenstein.
Learn how to make paper collage and create a sense of community in a time of physical distancing. This edukit is inspired by Fraser Valley artist Linda Klippenstein’s Newcomers to Canada Project, which opened in the Community Art Space at The Reach Gallery Museum on March 12, 2020. The activity involves working with others (either with others in your household, or virtually with a neighbouring household) to collage a paper heart that will be placed in a window to show support for essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This activity is designed for all ages and art making abilities, and promotes community-building through a paper collage project that spans two pages that, when viewed together, will create a complete image.
This edukit fulfills BC Curricular Competencies for middle school students grade 6 – 8.
This activity fulfills Curricular Competencies in BC’s New Curriculum for the following subjects and classes:
To see relevant connections between this activity and BC’s New Curriculum, see downloadable PDF “Curricular Competencies Related to One Heart, Far Apart: Activity Inspired by Local Artist Linda Klippenstein.”
KEY CONCEPTS AND VOCABULARY
Participatory art | Diptych | Paper collage
ABOUT THE ARTIST
What happens when you bring a group of strangers together and ask them to create together? This question has been fundamental to Linda Klippenstein, an artist living in Abbotsford, Canada who makes participatory art. Participatory art allows other people to participate in the artist’s creative process. This type of art is incomplete without viewers’ physical interaction.
Linda Klippenstein has worked with many different groups in the Fraser Valley using art as a collaborative activity, where the focus is building relationships among participants.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY ART SPACE
The Reach Gallery Museum has a longstanding commitment to presenting community-based artworks. We partner with local organizations from within the arts community and other organizations who use the visual arts to create community. The Community Art Space is an application-based program for all community groups to show art projects at The Reach.
Through this activity participants will:
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
ESTIMATED TIME: 45 MIN
Figure 2. Detail from Walking Together, Building Connections 2 (detail). Image courtesy Linda Klippenstein.
WORKS OF ART IN Linda Klippenstein: Newcomers to Canada Project
This activity connects to works in the Community Art Space showcase called Linda Klippenstein: Newcomers to Canada Project.
Artmaking for Newcomers to Canada Workshops
In early 2020, Linda Klippenstein led a group of 75 women in workshops called “Artmaking for Newcomers to Canada” to create the paper collage that eventually came to be known as Walking Together, Building Connections 1 and 2. The workshops created and celebrated a community of diverse women residing in Abbotsford: some who are newcomers to Canada, some who have lived in this area for a while, and some who were born here.
Linda prepared the paper collage workshops so that the women could focus on getting to know one another while making the project together. She designed a composition that would stretch over two large wooden panels that had been painted white. Linda drew the composition onto the panels using a kind of “paint-by-number” format, to suggest what colours should be placed in each section to create a final image. She provided the women with pre-cut paper and materials to fill in the image. Many women who attended the workshops worked to “fill in” the same section of the collage, and some moved around so they could work on many sections. When all the sections were filled in, Linda painted each panel with gesso so that it would be preserved.
Figure 3. Women taking part in a paper collage workshop at The Reach. Image courtesy Linda Klippenstein.
Walking Together, Building Connections 1 and 2
The result of these workshops was a paper collage diptych (two different works that are part of the same picture) which she titled Walking Together, Building Connections 1 and 2. Paper collage is a technique of art production where the artwork is created using many small pieces of paper. These pieces come together to eventually create a whole image, which, in this case, shows several women walking on a path outdoors.
You can take a virtual tour of Linda Klippenstein: Artmaking for Newcomers to Canada by watching the online video at: www.thereach.ca/athome
Figure 4. Linda Klippenstein, Walking Together, Building Connections 1 and 2, 2020. Paper on birch panels. Diptych, each panel 24 inches x 48 inches. Organized by Kanta Naik, and designed and facilitated by Linda Klippenstein.
Figure 5. People around the world are sharing pictures of hearts hanging in their windows to spread warmth and good spirit during the COVID-19 crisis. Image sourced from https://bc.ctvnews.ca/hearts-in-the-window-movement-spreads-warmth-reassurance-in-the-time-of-covid-19-1.4867029.
The image of the heart displayed in a window has become a symbol of encouragement to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., people working in healthcare or at the grocery store). In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, people have stayed at home, but essential workers are still needed to provide essential services to the rest of the population, like medical care and groceries. To show support for these essential workers in our community, The Reach has worked with Linda Klippenstein to create a community-building project in the spirit of her paper college. Linda has designed this heart template with the image of a “home” at the centre to encourage everyone to continue following recommendations of healthcare professionals and to show your support for essential workers.
In this activity, you’ll be working with another person (either from your own household, or virtually with a neighbour) to create this collaborative work of paper collage!
Figures 6 – 8. Activity example.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
KEEP TRACK & GIVE BACK
If you use this free resource with your students at school / at home, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to Diana Hiebert (Curator of Learning and Community Engagement at The Reach) at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your comments including the number and age range of participants. This statistical information is important to us as a not-for-profit organization and will allow us to continue offering this kind of content.