One Heart, Far Apart: Activity Inspired by Local Artist Linda Klippenstein

Self-guided activity


Figure 1. Paper collage activity example. Collage template design by Linda Klippenstein.

OVERVIEW

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.

CURRICULAR COMPETENCIES

This activity fulfills Curricular Competencies in BC’s New Curriculum for the following subjects and classes:

  • Arts Education 6, 7, 8.

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.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Through this activity participants will:

  • Discover how local artist Linda Klippenstein used paper collage to encourage women to connect with one another.
  • Learn about “participatory art” and how artists use it to bring people together.
  • Build relationships with others while learning to collage with paper, using a template designed by Linda Klippenstein.
  • Show support for your essential workers through a fun creative project.

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Coloured paper (This could be wrapping paper, or patterned scrapbook paper. If you don’t have the colour of paper that you want, consider colouring a piece of white paper with whatever colouring materials you have on hand.)
    • Coloured paper needed to collage left side of heart:
      • Medium blue
      • Light blue
      • Red
      • Darker green
      • Medium green
      • Lighter green
      • Yellow
    • Coloured paper needed to collage right side of heart
      • Medium blue
      • Yellow
      • Red
      • Darker green
      • Medium green
      • Lighter green
      • White
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape/sticky tack
  • PDF reading software installed on your computer (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • One of the pages from our templates (either “LEFT Heart Collage Template” or “RIGHT Heart Collage Template”) printed on 8.5”x11” paper
  • A partner (in your own household or virtually) who will be working with the other page from our templates printed on 8.5”x11” paper

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.

BACKGROUND

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.

ACTIVITY

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!

  1. Find a partner. If working with someone from your own household, sit at a table together while you work on your half of the heart. If working with someone from another household, set up a video chat with them using your computer or phone so that you can talk with your partner while making your half of the collage. You don’t need to talk about making the art together, you can talk about anything!
  2. Cut the coloured paper into smaller pieces and sort them into separate piles by colour.
  3. Cut out the outline of your half of the heart template.
  4. Using glue, paste the coloured paper onto the sections of the template.
  5. Cut any jagged edges around your half of the paper heart.
  6. Put your cut-paper creation on a window facing outward, using tape or sticky tack. If you are doing this activity with a neighbour, try to put it up as closely as you can to their window.

 

 


Figures 6 – 8. Activity example.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  1. Think about why people are the most important part of participatory artwork? Why do you think these artists are more interested in working with people than paint or paper?
  2. Can you think of other colourful ways to support people in your neighbourhood, while staying at a distance? You could make a sidewalk chalk drawing to encourage people to go on walks around the neighbourhood. You could paint pictures for your neighbours and send them to your neighbours virtually. You could even consider planting flowers in your garden in a heart design!

 

EXPAND

  1. Design your own large paper collage. On a table, lay out four sheets of 8.5”x11” paper. Pretend the four sheets of paper are one large piece of paper and draw an image across all four pages. Write in the colours you want each section to be. Give your four pieces of paper away to members of your household and ask them to collage each piece at the same table. Display your artwork in the window for all to see!

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 dhiebert@thereach.ca, 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.