Activities
Color, Form, Edge

a. Ask your students to view and discuss Carmen Herrera's painting, Friday, 1978. Have students imagine that they are looking at this painting from above. What do they notice? Discuss the title of this work. Is there anything that makes students think about this particular day of the week? Does this painting reflect any of the ways they think of or feel about Fridays? Other days of the week? What colors do they associate with the days of the week? Why? What do these colors mean to them?

b. Students could work individually or in pairs for this project. Ask your students to choose two different colored sheets of 9” x 12” construction paper. Younger students could choose opposite colors such as light/dark, warm/cool, or ”yes” and “no” colors as Herrera described the color pairing of green and white in her Blanco y Verde series (Conversation with Dana Miller, February 18, 2014). Have students use one sheet as the background and cut out a large, simple, geometric shape of their choice from the other sheet. First have students place their geometric shape in the center of the sheet of construction paper. Is it interesting to look at? Why or why not? Next, have them experiment with placing the shape somewhere else in the composition. For example, along the edge of the other piece of construction paper. What do they notice? Is one composition more interesting or dynamic than the other? Why? When students are happy with their composition, have them glue it down.

c. Ask students to display their work together on a classroom wall. Have them determine where their work will be displayed and how it will be arranged. When the display is complete, view and discuss students’ collages. Did the choice of where the collages will be displayed affect the way students see them? In what ways? How do the students’ collages interact with the classroom space? 

A black and orange artwork by Carmen Herrera.

Carmen Herrera (b. 1915), Friday, 1978. Acrylic on canvas , 62 × 42 in. (157.5 × 106.7 cm). Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery © Carmen Herrera