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  • Pamela Froman

Collage Artists of America

Art comes in many forms and collage is unique in its expression. Collage Artists of America (CAA) is an organization that works to promote interest and participation, and study, appreciation, and support of, both digital and analog collage, and assemblage. They offer lectures, instructional workshops, boutiques, and curated art exhibits.


CAA is hosting a collage table for kids at their upcoming Biennial Pop-Up Boutique. The boutique itself features original art, prints, cards. clothing, jewelry, toys, pottery and more by some of Los Angeles' most distinguished artists. Kids will have nothing but fun at the Kids' Table where CAA artists will guide them in making collages – and they’re guaranteed to have a blast doing it.


How would you define collage? We asked Wendy Tigerman, President of Collage Artists of America.


"Straight collage is taking images, tearing, cutting and adhering them to a board or watercolor paper or a piece of wood or whatever," she says. "You have paper and you rip it or you cut it, adhere it, layer it and you stick it on something."


You can also add a top coat such as a varnish, shiny or matte or high gloss. These days mixed media collage is gaining popularity, and this popularity has led people to use more materials -- such as string, markers, paint, stickers, toys – anything you can imagine that will stay on the page but still be more or less two-dimensional. Digital collage is artwork that does not exist anywhere except on the computer, where Photoshop is commonly used to input and manipulate images, then shared via prints.


CAA has many events and workshops, and their Facebook page – Collage Artists of America – has over 6000 members. " Our page is promoting, educating, challenging and supporting collage artists all over the world," says Wendy. "At the end of the year, we run a competition selecting 12 collages for a calendar. That is then available for sale and the profits go to CAA."


The biennial Pop-Up Boutique is a collection of 15-20 artists who are selling their wares. It includes small collage works, prints, greeting cards and postcards, jewelry, textiles, and toys. You'll walk in and see colorful booths and lots of people. Wearable art is the theme of anything you buy whether it's a blanket, clothing, jewelry or hair accessories. Everything is handmade by artists, not manufactured, and the work reflects the sensibilities of a collage artist.


The Kid's Table will be several table where there are artists who can guide the kids on how to make a collage. There will be an incredible range of materials that the artists are donating. Several artists will be educators. "One of our artists, Elaine Piechowsky, whose work is energetic, vibrant and interactive, will be teaching," according to Ms. Tigerman. "She’ll be joined by another gal, Helen Merken, a prolific collagist who has been an art educator for a very long time. Jennifer Korsen, an extremely popular muralist, collagist and jewelry designer, will be helping out too! We’re all fans of children's art, and believe that kids are born as artists, so their instincts will be honored and encouraged."


CAA wants to provide an artistic outlet, nurture the artist within children, and teach the ways of expressing themselves through art. It's all about inspiration. "People often ask me why did you get into collage and that's so easy. It's because with collage you can do something and then if you don't like it you can cover it up or tear it off. You do something, respond to that and keep going."


CAA is planning future workshops and shows starting for pre-school kids through college students.


For more information on CAA log onto www.collageartists.org where you can join or just sign up for their newsletter.


The CAA Pop-Up Boutique takes place at the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center on Saturday, Nov. 16, 1:30 – 4 p.m. At the same time, SFVACC is presenting Women Painters West's "Falling into Place" art exhibit running through Nov. 23. The center is located at18312 Oxford Street, Tarzana 91356. You can find out more about it at www.sfvacc.org


Valley Arts and Cultural Center is located at 18312 Oxnard St., Tarzana. www.sfvacc.org

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