Creating a Box Assemblage

The Big Idea:

How do artists use everyday objects to explore the world around them?

Activity overview

Betye Saar's mixed-media box assemblages derive from her fascination with the magical and spiritual significance of objects. By rearranging found objects, discarded mementos, and other materials, she creates new meanings that draw on the power of nostalgia and reflect her own identity and personal history. In this activity you will construct your own box assemblage using objects that are important to you.

Look closely

Click on each artist button at right to view detailed screens about the artist and his or her works. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and look closely at the works of art.

In this activity you will:

  1. learn about the art of Betye Saar
  2. make a box assemblage using objects that are important to you
  3. exchange boxes with a classmate and write a short review of his or her work

You will be graded on:

  1. research notes
  2. creativity, style, and effort in creating a box assemblage
  3. review of a classmate's box

New terms:

assemblage