We recently tried out an art project inspired by the work of artists Tony Fitzpatrick and Robert Rauschenberg. We explored the multimedia collage works of Fitzpatrick and Rauschenberg with children ages 7 to 9. The children were encouraged to create collages based on their interpretation of the artwork and add their artistic flair.
About the Artists
Robert Rauschenberg was born in Texas in 1925 and died in Florida in 2008. He worked with several mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and performance. Rauschenberg is well-known for his “Combines,” which is a term he created to describe his art combining painting and sculpture, made during the 1950s. Rauschenberg incorporated non-traditional materials into his work, such as photographs, newspaper cuttings, and found items that he collected on the streets of New York City.
Tony Fitzpatrick is an artist from Chicago who is well-known for his mixed media drawings, collages, and prints. He uses discarded items and various ephemera in some of his artwork, usually telling a story about Chicago. Fitzpatrick is also a writer (who has created nine books, four plays, and hundreds of essays). He gathers inspiration for his artwork from religious icons of his childhood, comics, poetry, and the city streets. He is also a former tattoo artist, which shows up in the beautiful details of his compositions.
Selected Artworks by the Students
The kids viewed examples of both of the artists’ work to gain inspiration for their projects. We gathered acrylic paint, glue sticks, scissors, vintage papers, scrap papers, and various ephemera. Etsy has a lot of interesting vintage paper and ephemera. We have also discovered great collage supplies at thrift stores, such as books, vintage wallpaper, and old magazines. We had a lot of discarded bird stamps on hand, which ended up being the perfect addition to their collages. They also loved asking about the places that their stamps were from. The kids had fun and enjoyed working with the materials.