Paper, Scissors, Glue, Collage!

Course Number


Study Group Leader (SGL)

Caroline Schwirian


This course will be held in the BOLLI Gathering Space (a 58’ x 32’ room) with a maximum enrollment of 12. The Gathering Space will be equipped with two HEPA air purifiers.

5-Week Course

April 1 - May 6. No Class April 22.


Collage has been used as an art form since the Japanese glued paper to silk in the 1100’s. Picasso and Braque are considered the inventors of modern collage and Matisse followed. Since then, collage has become an art form in its own right and is seen in museums, book illustration, advertising, and is used in many other ways. We will learn about some well-known collage artists and their work, but the primary purpose of this hands-on class is for you to make your own collages. Collage art is made through a process of selecting a design idea or subject and implementing it by gluing down different papers, magazine and newspaper clippings, photos, fabric, and other materials that you find or make yourself. You can stop there or add pencil or marker drawings or writings to make a mixed media work. The possibilities are endless; it is up to you. We will enjoy a time of creating together! This class will give you a foundation in collage making so that you can continue creating on your own. All levels of experience are welcome.

Group Leadership Style

First class: ¾ to one hour +/- lecture, demo and discussion. In the remaining time, the class will show their introductory collages. Classes 2-5: Students make their own collage from the prompt given or use their own ideas. Questions will be answered while the class is working on their collage and discussion is welcomed.

Course Materials

Links to articles and video assignments will be provided each week on our class website. A complete list of materials for you to bring to class will be provided in the course welcome letter and on the class website. The primary tools used will be paper, scissors, glue and a paint brush for gluing. There are no required books for this course. The following books are useful if you prefer to purchase a reference book: Collage Your Life: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Creative Self-Expression and Visual Storytelling by Melanie Mowinski (2022). Available on Amazon. Creative Collage Techniques by Nita Leland, Virginia Lee Williams (2000). Both new and used books are available on Amazon. 

Preparation Time

About 1 ½ to 2 hours. The primary homework will be creating ideas and selecting materials for the collage that students will work on in class. Preparation time will vary depending on the student. Short reading and video assignments will be provided on the class website.


 Caroline Schwirian has always been interested in the visual arts. She started to draw in her early years, but in later years, her time for art was limited. Her professional life as an architect kept her involved in both the visual and technical aspects of projects. After joining BOLLI, Caroline was inspired by classes in art history and their SGLs to get back to making art. Caroline has taken classes at the New Art Center, MFA, the Danforth Museum and the Newton Senior Center in drawing, painting, and collage. She is always open to learning new ways of creating art and looks forward to sharing her interest in collage with others.