Creating a Box Assemblage

Activity Steps:

Identify personal objects that tell a story about who you are. Assemble them into a memory box and share them with your class.

1. Look:
Spend time exploring the art of Betye Saar. What kinds of objects does she use in her box assemblages? Are they commonplace? Personal?
2. Create:
Using objects that are important to you, construct your own box. You could depict an event in your life, such as your first trip to the beach, or you could make the box address your life as a whole by using objects you have collected over the years.
3. Write:
Exchange boxes with another student and write a short review of his or her assemblage, taking careful note of how the different items work together.
4. Extension:
Write a fictional story using your box as a starting point.
5. Optional expanded project:
Design an "everyday object" art exhibition.
  1. As a class, determine the overall character, theme, and tone of the exhibition, with everyday objects serving as the main focus.
  2. Divide into small groups to carry out the following exhibition-related responsibilities:
    1. Design: Determine how each object is presented, and in what order.
    2. Production and installation: Create and install signage and additional props, such as pedestals. Install the art objects according to the orders of the design committee.
    3. Catalogue: Produce a record of the exhibition in book format.
    4. Public relations: Produce and distribute all publicity for the exhibition.
    5. Reception: Design and produce an event celebrating the opening of the exhibition (optional).
  3. Once the exhibition has been installed, write a review commenting on how it enables you to see everyday objects in a new way.
  4. You may want to invite other classes in your school to attend an opening event, perhaps with snacks and soft drinks. Invite the outside students to write their own reviews of the exhibition.