April 10, 2020

Creative Art Activities in a Time of Social Isolation

Feeling overwhelmed by the current COVID-19 crisis? Bored at home and already completed your Netflix cue in two weeks? Need a break from the never-ending news cycle? Want a focus that’s fun and creative? #HowlAtHome is for you!

We’re putting together arts activities, inspired by the Vega Arts Workshop Series. Anyone can do it! No background in art-making is necessary to complete these activities using simple, low-cost materials in your home already, or easily acquired at essential services locations, such as grocery stores and drugstores, as well as online through retailers like Blick and Amazon. A new activity will be shared every two weeks starting Friday, April 10, 2020.

Tag photos of your artworks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with #howlathome and #howlhappening to share your creations with us and connect to everyone who Howls at Home! Please email an image of your final project to Howl’s Education Director, Katherine Cheairs, at [email protected].

Activity #1: Collage Portraits








Make a portrait of yourself, friend, family member, pet, or any object you find interesting using collage as a medium. Collage Portraits utilize simple materials: magazines, cardboard, or other paper surfaces; and glue. This creative activity is inspired by our successful Vega Arts Workshop with Antony Zito during his inspiring exhibition, My Father Was a Satyr last year.

Key themes: Experimentation, Portraiture, Abstraction

Glue, glue sticks, rubber cement, tape
Hardboard, cardboard, card-stock paper 
Optional: acrylic paint

Instructions: Start with a flat, sturdy board approximately 8.5 x 14 or larger. If it’s not a self-portrait you’re making, have a reference image on hand of the pet, person, or object. To start the portrait, identify a starting focal point, such as an eye. Tear or cut pieces from magazines that have bold, dynamic colors and graphics. Fashion, travel, photography, and art magazines are perfect for this project.

Place the “eye” first and build out from there. Use an adhesive to place each piece—building and layering until the surface is filled with your portrait. Think about how shape and color can enhance your design. If acrylic paints are on hand, use a brush to highlight sections of the portrait. There are no mistakes. It’s all about working with the materials and having fun!

Approximate activity time: Thirty minutes to three hours, depending on the intricacy and design you deem appropriate for the portrait.








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