Get Inspired by Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford (American, born 1961), Rat Catcher of Hamelin IV, 2011, mixed media collage on canvas, 120 × 126 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by Donna MacMillan, the Contemporary Art Council, the Annette Bloch Acquisition Fund, the Collectors Forum, the Dorothy and Harold Meyerman Honorary Fund, Myrna Kaplan, and funds derived from a previous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Maslon, 2015.63


This activity is inspired by the work of Mark Bradford who uses reclaimed and repurposed paper products in his work—including newspaper, advertising flyers, street posters, and other printed materials.

Use found materials like magazines, newspapers, maps, postcards, photos, or wrapping paper to create your own work of art—a collage.

What is a Collage?
A collage is a work of art made from portions of existing materials, including images such as photographs and prints, arranged to create a new image. “Collage” comes from the French word coller meaning “to glue or stick together.”


  • Recycled paper
  • Pencil
  • Glue or tape
  • Cardboard or thick paper


Step 1

Identify and gather materials for your collage. Look for photographs and recycled paper, such as junk mail, old greeting cards, envelopes, gift wrapping materials, newspapers, maps, advertisements, expired coupons and magazines, etc.

Step 2

Tear or cut the collage materials into small pieces, and sort them by color or pattern or size to create your palette. Look for large swatches of color and patterns in advertisements and interesting textures in photographs. (Tip: The more pieces you have to work with, the better. Leftover pieces can be stored in envelopes or bags for later use on additional art works!)

Step 3

Sketch a rough outline for the scene you would like to create on a piece of cardboard. If you do not have cardboard available, you can use a paper bag, piece of thick paper (such as a cereal box or case of soda), file folder, or any non-glossy surface.

Step 4

Determine the colors you need for your image and arrange the collage materials on top of your sketch. (Tip: Photograph your progress in case the pieces get moved.)

Step 5

Adhere collage materials into place using glue or tape. (Option: When finished, coat your collage in a thin layer of white glue with a paintbrush to seal it.)

Submit a photograph of your final work. We'll be sharing a selection of submissions in the weeks to come!