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Assemblage image w-corn, doll, mask.jpg

It's Fall Harvest Time

Intro to Assemblage

Facilitator - Camille Hulbert, MStar Arts Creative

Co-sponsored by: Fresh Market and Center Parc Credit Union

"Harvest Festivals are celebrated all over Africa and the world! These celebrations are filled with lots of music, singing, and dancing with dancers adorned in traditional masks and costumes, some of what you will see in our museum exhibits."

Join us as we continue our “Fall Harvest” workshop series with an intro to Assemblage!

If you missed the previous workshops, don’t worry; check out our September Decorative Mask Making PART 1 and PART 2
October Corn Husk Doll Making workshop link HERE

This workshop is in preparation  for our Kwanzaa workshop on 12/26 (1st day of Kwanzaa), when we will create our Kwanzaa Assemblage. It will be the culmination of our “Fall Harvest” workshop series.

Assemblage image w-corn, doll, mask.jpg

Sample of Assemblage

 MStarArts Creative 

(c) Camille Hulbert

What does this Assemblage workshop have to do with Kwanzaa?

For those who do not know, Kwanzaa is an African American celebration based on the agricultural celebrations of Africa called “First Fruits” celebrations which were times of harvest, ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration!  It is an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world. It celebrates Family, Community, and Culture!

As part of the 7-day celebration, hand-made decorations and gifts are displayed and exchanged. An Assemblage is a way to celebrate your family, community, and culture. It is art comprised of various objects that tells a story.  Our previous “Fall Harvest” workshops can help you decide what you want to use to tell your story. You may want to include corn husk dolls that we made to represent family members, or African masks that we made to represent African ancestors or represent something you learned about the materials used for the masks that appeals to you. You may want to include a piece of fabric (e.g., a piece of old clothing) or something that represents the family matriarch/patriarch (e.g., a recipe for a favorite dish). 


In this case, our workshop facilitator used strips of burlap to imitate Kuba cloth, inspired by the museum’s Kuba exhibit showing the collaboration of men and women in making the popular cloth. Do you want to add an affirmation pocket for affirmations for the new year? This workshop is to help you make these decisions and structure your Assemblage… how best can you tell your story with these and/or other materials? Is your Assemblage a Kwanzaa display for your home or is it a Kwanzaa gift for someone? We are using burlap as our canvas and letting our creativity flow! A large scale example is artist Aaron Fowler’s Assemblage tribute to his mother entitled, “You Deserve It Mama!!”  previously on view at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah.


For the 12/26 workshop we will have additional items for you to choose from to add to your Assemblage e.g.,  the Nguzo Saba (7 Principles of Kwanzaa and their symbols) and fabric to include an affirmation pocket for your affirmations, along with suggested affirmations for the new year, etc.


It’s your story, and we are here to help you decide how you would like to share it!


Aaron Fowler "You Deserve It Mama!!"

Culture Type

What is an assemblage?


Assemblage, in art, is a work produced by the incorporation of everyday 3D objects into a composition on a 2D or 3D surface. Although each non-art object, such as a piece of rope or newspaper, acquires aesthetic or symbolic meanings within the context of the whole work, it may retain something of its original identity. 

Think of a collage, but with 3D elements. 

Carol Hilgemann: “If Walls Could Talk”

(c) Matthews Opera House

How do you create an assemblage?

An assemblage is pieced together like a quilt, only instead of sewing a patch of fabric to a solid surface, you bind objects to a solid surface using heat or an adhesive. 


Robert Rauchenberg


What type of Assemblage are

we creating? 

We will be crating a textile assemblage for our collaborative art activity with our facilitator Camille Hulbert with MStar Arts Creative. This is inspired by the Kuba Cloth we have on display at the museum. 

Assemblage image w-corn, doll, mask.jpg

Camile Hulbert

(c) MStar Arts Creative

How to structure your assemblage 

The materials for our assemblage are made up from the projects from our previous workshops.

Fabric Masks from our September Workshops and our Corn Husk Dolls. 

If you missed the previous workshops, don’t worry; check them out below:
September Decorative Mask Making PART 1 and PART 2

October Corn Husk Doll Making workshop link HERE

Starting with a flat firm board, this will serve as your canvas to create on.

Organize your previous projects from our last three workshops on your blank canvas and feel free to add new things, such as fabric, flowers, drawings, or any other decorations. What you add will only enhance your assemblage. 

When you finished adding what you want glue them down to the canvas and wait for them to dry. When they are dry you now have an assemblage of your own making. 

Are there any Harvest Traditions that inspire or interest you? 
Use it as inspiration for this workshop and share your final project with us!

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