Collaged Memory Box
In this collage project inspired by Romare Bearden’s Evening of the Gray Cat, you can create an artistic Collaged Memory Box to celebrate a special person, place, or journey. Cut, paste, and collage your story on the lid, and keep favorite mementos inside the box.As a child, Romare Bearden traveled to Charlotte each summer to visit his great-grandparents. Many years later, he created a series of art called “Mecklenburg Memories,” inspired by his recollections of North Carolina in the early decades of the 1900’s.
Can you find the gray cat in this scene?
“A work of art can always keep growing. You can always add something to it each time you see it.”
About the Artist:
Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1911. At a young age, he moved with his parents to Harlem, in New York City to seek opportunities that weren’t available to African Americans in the south. As an adult, Bearden became known as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. Combining images from magazines, prints, and colored and textured papers to create collage “paintings,” his art told many stories about the Black experience, classical literature and art, and cultural history.
• Shoe box, or any box with a lid
• Piece of paper cut the size of the box lid
• Small paintbrush to paint glue onto paper
• Small container for glue (add a drop or two of water)
• Collage material cut from magazines, catalogs, recycled artwork, envelopes, photos, greeting cards etc.
• Optional: White paper and markers or paint to create your own collage paper
When you’re finished gluing, look at your collage and think about the images you chose and how they relate to your memories. What feelings come up? This gray cat feels proud that his picture made it into our collage!
Option: Write a note, short story, or poem about your project inspiration and drop it in the box. Our project was inspired by fun memories of traveling with a good friend.
Challenge: Fill the background with a grid of horizontal and vertical rectangles of different sizes and colors, then build your collage on top of it.
Simplify: Instead of a box, collage onto a colorful piece of paper. This makes it easier to fill your space.
Learn More: There are so many great resources about Romare Bearden! Below are a few. As you view his art, look for some of these themes:
Trains, large hands, birds, musicians, windows, cats, roosters, the sun, the moon
• YouTube Video: Trains, Snakes, and Guitars- The Art of Romare Bearden