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In this lesson, jazz inspires students to create a Romare Bearden style collage


Art, Music  


2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Paste Paper Collage

By – Nicole Duffy

Primary Subject – Art

Secondary Subjects – Music

Grade Level – 7-12

All That Jazz: Collage in the Style of Romare Bearden


  • Collage as an art medium
  • Elements and Principles of Design
  • Life and work of Romare Bearden


    National Standards:

    • Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    • Creative Expression
    • Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas
    • Historical/Cultural Perception

    South Carolina Visual Art Standards:

      I. Creative Expression (A, B, C)

      II. Aesthetic Perception (A)

      III. Aesthetic Valuing (A, B,)

      IV. Visual Arts Heritage (A, C)

      V. Aesthetic Valuing/Visual Arts Heritage (A, B, C)

      VI. Visual Arts Heritage /Integration (B)

General Goals:

  • Familiarize students with the work of Romare Bearden.
  • Introduce collage as a means of visual expression.
  • Incorporate elements and principles of design.


    1. The student will recognize the work of Romare Bearden.

    2. The student will create painted paste papers for use in a collage.

    3. The student will create a collage that adheres to a specific theme and employs the elements and principles of design.


    Classic jazz (such as Coltrane, Davis, etc.)

    Prints of Romare Bearden’s work

    Wallpaper paste, empty spaghetti jars, containers for paste paint, acrylic/tempera paint, foam brushes, card stock or construction paper, patterning tools (i.e. combs, legos, forks, fingers, etc.), glue, bamboo skewers, scissors, magazine pictures, any additional collage materials.

Anticipatory Set:

    Introduce Bearden and his work to students. Begin a discussion about subject matter and style of the work. Next, have students listen to classic jazz music and express with lines the way the music makes them feel. The motions the pencil makes will translate in the creation of the papers. Replay music when students begin to create their painted papers.


    Collage, unity, balance, color, pattern, rhythm, shape, space


    1. Mix paste in leftover spaghetti jars. Place lid on and shake. Mixture consistency should resemble heavy cream.

    2. Assemble clean, empty containers for each color paste paint to be used. Pour about ½ cup of paste into each container and mix with about 2 tablespoons of paint in the desired color.

    3. Place a sheet of paper on a flat surface that has been covered with newspaper. Brush on the color or colors. Use tools to create patterns in the paint. Try a variety of tools and color combinations. If a design does not suit you brush it out and begin again.

    4. Lay flat to dry and begin again.

    5. While students wait for papers to dry they may begin to plan their collages. Students may want to start with a few rough sketches and then gather other various materials from around the room.

    6. Once papers have dried students may begin cutting and gluing into their collages.


    Students share work during a class critique. Also, you may want to reintroduce the work of Bearden as students may have a different appreciation upon completion of the collage procedure.


    70 points for completion of project

    10 points craftsmanship

    10 points creativity

    10 points objectives demonstrated

Extensions: Collage could be turned into a book of collages that tell a story.

Connections: music and art history


Nicole Duffy


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