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Collage, Assemblage, and Ecology

By Joan Hall

I will present a two-part lecture and slide show on collage and assemblage from 12th century Japan to contemporary American photo illustration.

“Collage and Assemblage: Past and Present” (Part 1)
“The Art of Joan Hall” (Part 2)
Tue, Feb 23, 6:30pm
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
100 pesos

Part 1 consists of works by Picasso, Matisse, Rauschenberg, and numerous other artists, including local artists of San Miguel de Allende. You will see how everyday materials, including spare tires, money, and even blood, are recycled into art. The use of collage in illustration has become a familiar sight. You will learn how artists cope with some of their hilarious and frustrating experiences in the workplace. Part 2 consists of my own artwork.

This program is both entertaining and educational. The word “collage” stems from the French word colle, meaning “glue.” Assemblage is three-dimensional collage. I have worked in both mediums as a fine artist and freelance illustrator for 40 years.

Collage has rapidly gained popularity as an art form in the United States. I believe that there are sociological reasons for this growth. We live in a fast food mentality. Everyone is in a hurry, and the medium of collage conveys a feeling of spontaneity. With the advent of the computer and the Internet, our world has become fragmented. This fragmentation is reflected in the bits and pieces that make up a collage or assemblage.

There is also a growing awareness of ecological responsibility and the need to recycle. Creating a collage is frequently based on incorporating previously used paper, fabrics and, in the case of assemblage, found objects, into an art form. Many works of art have probably been created without the slightest awareness of ecology on the part of the artist. It is interesting to see how, through the ages, various scrap materials and found objects have been recycled into art.

Several years ago, I had the good fortune to receive a Mexican/American Cultural Specialists Grant to go to Mexico for a 10-day program to conduct workshops training teachers to educate children about ecology and the environment. The program featured the creation of collages out of recycled scrap materials. Many of the teachers had never made artwork of their own and doubted their ability to do so. The results were amazing and rewarding.

I will exhibit a series of collages titled Apparitions at the Museo de la Cuidad in Querétaro. The opening is February 26, 2016.  For more information, see


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