When I started curating the Community Arts Center’s JUXTAPOSE: Collage and Assemblage exhibit, I knew I wanted some BIG collages. Most collage artists work small by nature, considering that their source materials are cut from magazines, newspapers, and other print media. If I wanted large collages, I would certainly need large source material. I contacted the Norton Center for the Arts (an incredible performing arts center located just a few blocks from the Community Arts Center on the campus of Centre College) to see if they had any leftover vinyl banners from any of the countless international acts they’ve hosted over the years. The director of the Norton Center, Steve Hoffman – an Arts Center board member and phenomenal supporter of the arts- pointed me in the right direction and before I knew it, I was in the basement unrolling fifteen-foot-long banners. I grabbed the ones with the most color and potential and took them back to the studio. Fortunately, the graphic designer for the Norton Center still had the files for the banners which allowed me to make small paper “sketches” before committing to carving up my new collection of collage material.
Making collages of this scale is quite a bit different than working from magazines. For one, you don’t necessarily have to cut such small nuanced pieces for the work to have a big impact. In order to preserve the intimacy of small collages, I tried to keep the separate elements large and workable. After much online research, I discovered that old-fashioned-but-never-respected hot glue (the kind crafters use) worked quite well for bonding the vinyl pieces together.
The collages ended up only using a couple of well placed hacks out of only a few of the banners I had taken. The “Beyond the Big Noise” collage was made from banners advertising Wynona Judd as well as the dancers from the Paul Taylor dance company. “Intergalactic Passion” was created by combining images from the live-action comic show “Intergalactic Nemesis” and the liquid imagery of the dance company, Motionhouse’s show, “Scattered.”
If you get a chance to stop by the show and see these massive collages in person, they will be on display at the Community Arts Center in Danville, KY through April 2, 2016. Special thanks to the Norton Center for the Arts for allowing me to recycle their banners. Check out their latest season at http://www.nortoncenter.com.