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Activity: Create an Artwork about Friendship

Finished artwork about friendship
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is closed today, Monday, January 30 due to inclement weather. Any programs, tours, lectures or classes will not be held. If you are a ticket holder for a tour or an event today, we’ll contact you about rescheduling.

This activity is inspired by Delita Martin’s work Sisters. Learn more about this artwork and get a little messy making your own mixed media piece.

 

Look Closer:

Two African American Women, stnading against a multi-colored background.
Delita Martin, Sisters, 2014, mixed media on paper, 78 7/8 x 51 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2021.45.
  • Take a look at Sisters by Delita Martin. What things can you see that show the friendship between these two women? 
  • Notice the bowl one of the women is holding. This bowl is a symbol of giving and nurturing. A symbol is an object that represents something else, like a feeling, memory, or event. For example, a bowl might be used to feed someone you care about. 
  • Observe the textures and patterns in this work. They are present in the background, but also weave over the figures. These patterns are inspired by the history of Black quilting traditions. Quilting has traditionally been a way for Black Americans to not only create functional, comforting items, but also to express themselves artistically.  
  • This work does not show specific people, but instead highlights the connection and identity of Black women. 

Activity: Make an artwork about friendship!

materials for an artmaking activity including paper, box of pastels, blue tape, a marker, hole punch, and scissors

Materials needed:  

  • Paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Sharpie 
  • Soft pastels 
  • Hole punch 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Yarn 

Instructions: 

a pair of hands overlays a series of blue tape strips on a piece of paper

Step 1: On a strong piece of paper, make a layer of tape, overlapping it slightly. Create an area big enough to create a drawing on. 

a person drawing a vase with flowers on a canvas of tape strips

Step 2: Think of an object that shows love and care, similar to the bowl Delita Martin used. This can come in many shapes and forms. I chose a vase with flowers because we often buy flowers to show appreciation for the people we love. Have you ever received flowers? How did that make you feel? 

Step 3: After drawing directly on the tape, peel all the tape off in one sheet and use the scissors to cut out your drawing.  

hands lifting a collection of tape strips from a piece of paper
hands holding a flower and vase-shaped piece of tape

Step 4: Press your sticker onto your paper. After you have placed this, use the hole punch to add holes around the edges of the paper. This will allow you to add string into your art, just like Delita Martin.  

hands putting a flower and vase-shaped piece of tape to paper
a pair of hands hole-punching a piece of paper decorated with a vase-shaped collection of tape strips

Step 5: Using the soft pastels, add a variety of colors onto your paper surrounding your sticker. Now use your finger to blend all the color together.  

a pair of hands coloring a piece of paper with oil pastels and a tray of pastels nearby
a pair of hands coloring a piece of paper with oil pastels and a tray of pastels nearby
hands lifting a flower and vase-shaped piece of tape from a oil pastel-colored paper

Step 6: Use the string and thread it through each hole. Tie a knot at the end to keep the string in place. Now you have a finished mixed media piece! 

Finished artwork about friendship

Have fun creating! 

 

Written by Marlie Allgood, art instructor, Crystal Bridges.