Category Archives: Collage Workshops

Exploring Centennial College’s Vision Statement with Collage-Making

On February 28th, I facilitated a collage workshop for Centennial College’s 2017 Teaching and Learning Symposium. In this one-hour session, I invited faculty to experience collage-making from the perspective of post-secondary students in the classroom.

Working individually and in small groups, nine participants gathered and arranged images to illustrate Centennial College’s vision statement: “transforming lives and communities through learning.” The resulting visions-of-the-vision-statement beautifully express what transformative learning means to our community of educators.

Alyssa’s Collage
Barb’s Collage
Shannon’s Collage
Asaad’s Collage
Asaad’s Collage
Natalie’s Collage
Natalie’s Collage
Bushra’s Collage
Mandy and Srishti’s Collage
Mandy and Srishti’s Collage

Peace Flow: A Collaborative Collage

Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

I hope you enjoy this collective collage that emerged last August as part of a Journey Dance dedicated to peace led by Shielagh McGlynn.

Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

Sheilagh, Cate Laurier, and I started the piece at The Inner Arts Collective, and then I took it home to fill in some spaces and add finishing touches.

Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

English Language Learners Recycle Trash into Artful Collages!

ELL Gallery, 2016
ELL Gallery, 2016

Recently I offered a collage session to enrich an ESL textbook’s chapter about trash and recycling. I loved how the eleven international students in the class called on their creativity to transform magazines, leaflets, cards, calendars, old books, music scores, and stickers into individual works of art.

Fred's Collage, 2016
Fred’s Collage, 2016
Jake's Collage, 2016
Jake’s Collage, 2016
Young's Collage, 2016
Young’s Collage, 2016
Arturo's Collage, 2016
Arturo’s Collage, 2016
Jean's Collage, 2016
Jean’s Collage, 2016
Jose's Collage, 2016
Jose’s Collage, 2016
James' Collage, 2016
James’ Collage, 2016
Wilson's Collage, 2016
Wilson’s Collage, 2016
Winnie's Collage, 2016
Winnie’s Collage, 2016
Johnnie's Collage, 2016
Johnnie’s Collage, 2016
Allen's Collage, 2016
Allen’s Collage, 2016

YEARBOOK Collage Workshop at Bluffs Gallery!

In collaboration with Scarborough Arts’ Yearbook Exhibit and Myseum’s Intersections Festival, an opportunity to facilitate a collage workshop arose this March.

Soar by Sarah
Soar by Sarah, 2016
The workshop took place on March 19th in a sunny room in the Bluffs Gallery. On the walls, Reese de Guzman’s striking photo-collages inspired us with images from Scarborough high school yearbooks that dated from the 1920’s to the present.
Nadia's Collage
Nadia’s Collage, 2016

Resonating with Reese’s work for the Myseum exhibit, the objective of the YEARBOOK collage workshop was to support the creation of personal collages that explored related themes, such as memory, history, identity, and loss.

Oh Rats! by Alexandra
Oh Rats! by Alexandra, 2016

All art materials were provided, but participants were also invited to bring personal photos or copies of them. Almost all of the eight attendees came prepared with an engaging assortment of photos, beautiful stationery, fabric, buttons, and even driftwood and a glue gun!

Karen's Collage for a Friend
Karen’s Collage for a Friend, 2016

I loved the communal hum of work and conversation that continued throughout the two-hour event. Together we hunted for just the right images when somebody would call out that they needed a picture of a dog or bright colours for balloons.

Anne's Collage
Anne’s Collage 1, 2016

By the end of the afternoon, it was uplifting to see the gorgeous variety of collages that surfaced.

Anne's Collage
Anne’s Collage 2, 2016

Thank you Scarborough Arts and Myseum for creating the conceptual and literal space for the YEARBOOK Collage Workshop! Making art with the support of these two organizations felt both meaningful and fun.

Twentieth-Century Memory, Catherine Raine 2016
Twentieth-Century Memory, Catherine Raine 2016

English Language Learners Rock the Collage Genre


I loved these collages created by eight international students in an intensive English program. In addition to photos of the artwork, I’m including descriptions that the artists wrote to explain their individual collages. (Sending a big thank you to their instructor, Barb, for assigning and collecting the written work).

Rita's Collage
Rita’s Collage

Once upon a time, Professor Monster lived in the house. Although he looked like devil, he like to use magic to help people. He hoped to improve their life, so he gave some rice, bags, and clothes to them. Finally, they were very happy.

Rita's Collage
Rita’s Collage
Rita's Collage
Rita’s Collage
Rita's Collage
Rita’s Collage
A. J.'s Collage
A. J.’s Collage

Don’t believe in money. Believe in yourself.

Misun's Collage
Misun’s Collage

This collage’s topic is Empty. Recently in Korea some intelligent young people think emptiness is an important problem. We use many objects. We have many goods, but we are empty for nature, for earth, for simple human life. Now this is Korea social trend.

Natalia's Collage
Natalia’s Collage

My collage is about lovely story. Everyone have a dream about your ideal and everyone goes to his dream.

Brian's Collage
Brian’s Collage
Ariel's Collage
Ariel’s Collage

The old man in the small picture is the monkey’s conscience. He says, “Don’t worry. She (the doll) is crazy about you. Repeat after me, I’m the Best.”

Jaden's Collage
Jaden’s Collage

Man: Hey girl! Look at me! I’m soccer superstar.

Donkey: No! Look at me! I’m the super donkey. Ha! Ha!

Penguin: You are really funny. I’m the super penguin. See me fly!

Jason's Collage
Jason’s Collage

It is free and dream. Many people are not free because of work and life. “The world is very big. I want to see anything!” This sentence is a catchword in China.

Picture Your Success!

Facilitating several collage workshops on the theme of “Picture Your Success” was a rewarding experience, especially when I saw how much the resulting artwork meant to the participants. I love the colours, stories, and messages contained in the collages featured below. They help me picture peace, fun, success, hope, freedom, love, and inspiration!

Fatima's Collage
Fatima’s Collage
Jennifer's Collage
Jennifer’s Collage
Mohammed's Collage
Mohammed’s Collage
Beth's Collage
Beth’s Collage
Manleen's Collage
Manleen’s Collage
Rebecca's Collage
Rebecca’s Collage
Shruti's Collage
Shruti’s Collage

English Language Learners Make Playful and Humorous Collages!

ELL Collage Workshop, July 27, 2015
ELL Collage Workshop, July 27, 2015

From random piles of paper, stickers, and images arose eleven collages that showcase the creativity, humour, and playful spirit of their creators. Thank you, ELL students, for your willingness to try a new art form!

Xingshi's collage
Xingshi’s collage
Nour's collage: Life and Connection
Nour’s collage: Life and Connection
Sarah's collage: Fight for Love
Sarah’s collage: Fight for Love
Andy's collage: Start
Andy’s collage: Start
Vivian's collage
Vivian’s collage
Louis' collage
Louis’ collage
Benny's collage: What Are You Waiting For?
Benny’s collage: What Are You Waiting For?
Benny's collage: What Are You Waiting For?
Benny’s collage: What Are You Waiting For?
Zero's collage: Murder
Zero’s collage: Murder
Ryan's collage: Who Is Next?
Ryan’s collage: Who Is Next?
Chris' collage: Think About Us
Chris’ collage: Think About Us


Study Skills Students’ Inspiring Collages

In a recent workshop, fourteen students in an intensive academic English program created art from images that inspired them. I love the range of interests represented in the collages below, which include art, fashion, dance, religion, family, flowers, wild animals, waterfalls, sports, and space. Inspiring work, EAP 2 Study Skills!

Micheline's collage
Micheline’s collage
Ada's collage
Ada’s collage: Be a Superstar
David's Superstar
David’s Superstar (David is the class instructor, and I admired his willingness to make a collage alongside his students).
Rahman's collage: Just Say Hello
Rahman’s collage: Just Say Hello
Haque's collage: Balancing Game
Haque’s collage: Balancing Game
Angelica's collage: Love
Angelica’s collage: Love
Christelle's collage: The Power of Beauty
Christelle’s collage: The Power of Beauty
Pavandham's collage: God with Us
Pavandham’s collage: God with Us
Iqra's collage
Iqra’s collage
Zayeed's Aquarium
Zayeed’s Aquarium
Gavin's collage
Gavin’s collage
Afshan's collage: Hungry King
Afshan’s collage: Hungry King
Shahida's collage: Peace and Joy
Shahida’s collage: A Mother’s Peace, Joy, and Hope to All
Ada's collage: Try
Ada’s collage: Try
Tabassuma's collage
Tabassuma’s collage
Janna's collage
Janna’s collage

English Language Learners Make Collages to Enhance Lesson on Recycling

Supporting the theme of environmental awareness, I recently facilitated two collage workshops for international students at a local college. Using recycled paper and images to great effect, the  participants created a total of twenty-seven strikingly individual collages that delighted their teachers, their classmates, and me.

Please enjoy this on-line tribute to recycling and creativity!

Zoriana's collage
Zoriana’s collage
Aldo's collage (Storm is Coming!)
Aldo’s collage (Storm is Coming!)
Giovanna's collage (Be Yourself)
Giovanna’s collage (Be Yourself)
Hyoen Ji's collage
Hyoen Ji’s collage
June's collage
June’s collage
Ellie's collage
Ellie’s collage
Nitzia's collage (Never Give Up)
Nitzia’s collage (Never Give Up!)
Adriana's collage (How You Shine in My Life)
Adriana’s collage (How You Shine in My Life)
April's collage (Centennial Men)
April’s collage (Centennial Men)
Layla's collage
Layla’s collage
Cristian's collage (Beauty)
Cristian’s collage (Beauty)
Cristian's collage (Beauty)
Cristian’s collage (Beauty)
Luis' collage
Luis’ collage
Wayne's collage
Wayne’s collage
Don's collage
Don’s collage
Angie's collage
Angie’s collage
Ella's collage (I Was Wondering)
Ella’s collage (I Was Wondering)
Lan Xo's collage
Lan Xo’s collage
Rodion's collage
Rodion’s collage
Erica's collage
Erica’s collage
Rachel's collage (World)
Rachel’s collage (World)
Alice's collage (Woman)
Alice’s collage (Woman)
Alice's collage (Woman)
Alice’s collage (Woman)
Krisna's collage
Krisna’s collage
Shon's collage (International Centennial College)
Shon’s collage (International Centennial College)
Diego's collage
Diego’s collage
Luke's collage
Luke’s collage (Congratulation)
Mieko's collage
Mieko’s collage
Belle's collage
Belle’s collage
Belle's collage
Belle’s collage

Workshop Collages Bring the Magic!

Today I had the privilege of facilitating two collage workshops on the suggested theme of relaxation. After I got home this evening, I rushed to process pictures of the eighteen collages the students created.  I cannot wait to share their beauty, poetry, and magic!

Vivian's Collage
Vivian’s Collage

The earth is at the bottom of the collage. I come from China, which is the other side of the world. There is a wave pushing a ship towards the colourful  future (the flowers). My house is on the ship. The crane is like me because it looks back towards the sun, towards China and towards the past. My heart is with my family.

Vivian's Collage
Vivian’s Collage
Geraldine's Collage
Geraldine’s Collage

When I came to Canada, I had to start again at the bottom. I struggled and had a lot of stress. The stairs show my difficult climb back up to success.

(Then Geraldine removed the paper veil from the gold coin, making other participants literally gasp with surprise).

Geraldine's Collage
Geraldine’s Collage
Carla's Collage
Carla’s Collage

Brazil is not just about soccer and beautiful women. We have beautiful nature in the Amazon and a lot of interesting animals.

Luis' Collage
Luis’ Collage

I wanted to make a collage about Mexico and one about Canada, my second home.

Luis' Collage
Luis’ Collage    (I asked Luis if he had chosen the picture of the tree woman because her branches looked like the shape of the moose antlers. He said the connection was made unconsciously).
Nasif's Collage
Nasif’s Collage

Students have a lot of stress with exams and assignments. I chose this road because it leads to a relaxing place in nature. I thought this lady looked relaxed, too.

Carlos' Collage
Carlos’ Collage

I come from a small town in Venezuala, and I used to spend a lot of time in nature. I miss it. It’s so different from city life in Toronto.

Carlos' Collage
Carlos’ Collage
Joy's Collage
Joy’s Collage

I wish all animals to be happy and to have enough to eat.

Joy's Collage
Joy’s Collage
Joy's Collage
Joy’s Collage
Shivani's Collage
Shivani’s Collage

I have a mysterious side, and the right side of the collage represents this. I’d like to share some of these quotations with you.

Shivani's Collage
Shivani’s Collage
Shivani's Collage
Shivani’s Collage
Ying Ying's Collage
Ying Ying’s Collage

Love isn’t just about love between a man and a woman. Love can also be for your family, your friends, for nature and all the animals, and for the world. Personal freedom is also important. I believe each person should be an individual and not have to be the same as everyone else.

Anushe's Collage
Anushe’s Collage    “This year I wanna go on an adventure!”   “Be You!”
Stephen's Collage
Stephen’s Collage
Stephen's Collage
Stephen’s Collage
Amelia's Collage
Amelia’s Collage
Amelia’s Collage
Liza's Collage
Liza’s Collage

I think our society is too focused on outer beauty and things like make-up. I believe inner beauty is more important.

Samantha's Collage
Samantha’s Collage
Samantha's Collage
Samantha’s Collage          “Life is a Dream”

The following day’s workshop on February 19th produced twelve more engaging collages which also call out to be shared here.

Manuela's Collage
Manuela’s Collage

I wanted to show connection and emotion in this piece.

Fan's Collage
Fan’s Collage

This is home life. The family around the table are missing their ancestors and praying. In the picture, some people are sad, lonely, or happy.

Fan's Collage
Fan’s Collage
Barb's Collage
Barb’s Collage

I grew up in the era of black and white photos, and I really like them. I think the world was simpler in the past.

Kevin's Collage
Kevin’s Collage

If you go to Beijing, you can see old houses like these.

Georgia's Collage
Georgia’s Collage

I want to escape Toronto’s cold winter. I also love to travel, so I put a postcard stamp on my collage.

Josh's Collage
Josh’s Collage

My collage is about overcoming fear. In life, we are often afraid, but we should take risks to achieve our goals. Fear is like a mask that limits our view. If we dominate fear, we can change a tiger to a kitten. It’s also important to smile and laugh. We have to laugh at life. Otherwise, life will laugh at us.

Jenny's Collage
Jenny’s Collage   Two Different World
Derrick's Collage Animals Untamed
Derrick’s Collage      Animals Untamed
Jiang's Collage Girl
Jiang’s Collage            Girl
Joseph's College
Joseph’s College

My collage is about freedom.

Young Su's Collage Leave a Legacy of Love
Young Su’s Collage    Leave a Legacy of Love

Love is love!

Chuck's Collage
Chuck’s Collage

To have hope, we need three things: fire, water, and family.

Collage Gallery of Early Childhood Education Students’ Work

Responding to the theme of relaxation, a group of ECE students created  this collection of spirited, meaningful, and colourful collages:

Sidra's Collage
Sidra’s Collage
Steffe's Collage
Steffe’s Collage
Anju, Siva, and Stephen's Collage
Anju, Siva, and Stephen’s Collage
Lily’s Collage
Netsanet’s Collage
Selanna’s Collage
Archana’s Collage
Lucky, Kakon, and Jacqueline’s Collage
Jinan’s Collage
Erika’s Collage
Kristina's Collage
Kristina’s Collage
Donna’s Collage
Nasreen’s Collage
Ishrat’s Collage
Kayla’s Collage
Jharna’s Collage
Dilshad’s Collage
Mosa’s Collage
Darren’s Collage
Danielle’s Collage

ESL Students’ Collages and Their Wisdom

When my students make presentations about their artwork, I love the natural wisdom which emerges. I hope you find their collages as inspiring as I do!

Sunny's Collage
Sunny’s Collage

This is my collage. We can see we have two mouse in here. On the right, we have one, oh, just so terrible. He just in the cleft and he (is) afraid the other animal will eat it. On the left, this animal can enjoy the sunshine and can in the farmland eat the rice. It’s so freedom. Oh, it’s relaxed, fantastic.

The meaning is like us. Why? Because we can in here have many rich people or people who come from the worker family. But we are the same. We are all human. So if you want to get success, you have to change. Maybe in this time, you are very relaxed or maybe in this time you are very afraid, but never mind because you can change. You can do it yourself and change your surroundings. You can get what you want. . . . . If you want to change, you have to work hard.

Paul’s Collage

First, why I choose cat? Because the cat look like cute and look like a little lazy. Traditionally people say “The cat have nine lives.” Why cat have nine lives? Because cat is very very vigilant and focused for everything. Even though they look lazy and they don’t care about anything, cat is very focused for everything. If a mouse passes his eyes, he can be very focused to get it, to take the mouse, and eat it.

Traditional Chinese master say, “You’re safe in the danger, but you die in the good life.” What’s the meaning? Does anyone read the Bible? Have the story about a Jewish king named David. When he (was) younger, that last Jewish king want to kill him. Then he run away and don’t do any mistakes for God because he’s very focused on the dangerous life. But after this time passed and David become the king,  he have a mistake because his life is so good.

For everything you need a focus. Does anybody play League of Warriors? Do you know, for this game you need a lot of focus so you can win. So everything in life you need to play like this game. Everyone need a focus. Don’t relax for everything. You understand?

Lauricelly's Collage
Lauricelly’s Collage

My collage is about the art. And this art is by Frida Kahlo. She was born in Mexico, and she was important painter in Mexico and other countries. She was a sick woman all her life because she suffered life-long health problems because of a traffic accident when she was a teenager.  She stayed in the bed all the time. She had a problem with her spinal column.

You can see the picture. She is Frida Kahlo. She had one eyebrow. In the middle, you can see arms and legs. The means the inspiration of this woman was influenced by her illness.

She did different self-portraits because she paint about her problems. She paint about her physical problem, emotional problems, and personal problems. And she has problems with her spinal column and her sexuality.

In this corner, you can see the man flying with an umbrella. He has wings, like Frida who said, “Because I have wings, I can fly.”  What is the meaning? It’s impossible to fly, but you can fly with your imagination. You can fly with your dreams.

I choose this collage because I like her story. Frida Kahlo is my superhero. She is immortal.

Lee's Collage
Lee’s Collage

Today I want to talk about Chinese history. Chinese history have about 5,000 or more years. You can see the three pictures. When you first see the three pictures, you think the three things have long history. In China, there are many museums, and there are many Chinese things in museums all over the world, for example, in the Royal Ontario Museum.

On the top left, is a bell. You can put it for ding, ding, ding. It’s a musical bell. On the right, this a jar to put some food in it. On the bottom, this is a picture of some jade.

Raymond’s Collage

At the top of my collage are two pictures, a tornado and a ship in a calm sea that is about to go over a waterfall. These two pictures tell us that in our lives we have some troubles. Some trouble will come to our lives, but don’t give up.

The bottom half of the collage has two pictures. This one is a picture of a drop of water. This one has a path and boat. You can feel very relaxed when you see these pictures. You can see that this is very calm. So every time you have troubles in your life, calm down is the first step, and you will solve it.  You may have many, many bad days, but it’s not a bad life. You will believe that solve your troubles is a good choice. Give up is a bad choice. So believe in yourself and believe in ourselves!

Joyce's Collage
Joyce’s Collage

My collage is about my future. At the top of the collage, there is a wooden bridge. All you you can see is that it is a long way. The weather is hazy. To the right of the bridge, there are many colourful clouds. In the lower right corner, you can see a house with five children and two old people inside.

The collage means a lot to me because it’s like my life. Maybe in my future I will be like that, from the hazy weather to a colourful world. I came alone here four months ago, but maybe in my future I will have many granddaughters and grandsons. They can begin to call me Grandma. So the future will be better.

Finally, here is the text from Jerry’s presentation. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of his collage because he made it a few days after the other students).

There are only three pictures in this collage. Here is one cat. What is he doing? He’s a sleeping cat, and he is dreaming. The question is, what he dreaming about? Many people will think he’s dreaming of gold. It’s so exciting. But if you want to understand the truth, he isn’t dreaming of gold. He’s dreaming of freedom. Animals and humans dream of freedom. Gold is cheaper than freedom. Freedom is what all humans and animals want.