Exploring multicultural art exposes children to cultural differences in a creative context. A multicultural art-inspired crafting session is also fertile ground for a history lesson!

This week we created collage art inspired by our recent visit to the Romare Bearden (1911-1988) collection currently being exhibited at Tampa Museum of Art.Here the boys peruse photos in a Bearden collection book and compare the artist’s pieces displayed upon the surrounding museum walls.Bearden was an African-American painter who incorporated pieces of photographs, newspaper clippings, foil and colored paper into his pieces. Many considered him the country’s foremost collagist.The artist used collage to express his thoughts and memories of growing up in the American South and Old Harlem during its renaissance. His style was also shaped by Western European art, African sculpture, contemporary American and Mexican artists. Music, particularly blues and jazz, also inspired his art.

To create collages at home, grab some old magazines and newspapers, as well as other art supplies such as scissors, craft paper, coffee cup sleeves, glue, glitter and markers. You will also need a piece of heavy paper or cardboard as a base.Next, show your child images of works by Bearden or other collagists. Discuss the themes of these collages, as well.

Let your child create their own collage theme based upon their interests or, for example, a recent visit to the park, beach or playground.

Then, let them start cutting and pasting!