29 Collaborative Projects to Build Community in Your Art Room

I first got the collaborative bug when I saw Sarah’s post about monochromatic self-portraits. They’re created on the FIRST day of art! Then came my love of Dot Day and creating collaborative circle art. But, I was really consumed when I saw Don Masse’s collaborative quilts! Collaborative art projects are a great way to promote community in your art room and throughout the school. Students learn to appreciate each other’s contributions and unique skills. When using collaborative skills, our students become effective communicators and contributors in our society. These projects are a great way to build relationships among students, staff, and community members.

Below, I’ve featured some of my favorite collaborative projects from AOE and around the web!

Large Group Projects

These can work as whole school projects, or even whole class projects!

Don Masse’s Paper Quilts – Each student is in charge of a square in which they manipulate parts of a circle and create symmetrical designs.

Sarah Dougherty’s Monochromatic Self-Portrait Mural – Have each grade level create small, monochromatic self-portraits to be placed together in rainbow order.

Dot Day – Check out Cassie Stephens’ ideas galore!

The Friendly Loom – Students from multiple grade levels can contribute to this ongoing project!

Collaborative Mosaics – Make something for your school, about your school!

Organic Circles with Analogous Colors – Each student creates a circular piece.

Chihuly Inspired Sculptures – Who doesn’t love a Chihuly piece?

Collaborative Abstract Painting – Students can work on this project from all angles!

Abstract Chalk Blending – This could easily be an ongoing project.

Beautiful Hearts – To show you care.

Post-It Note Murals – Students will need to work together to plan out these complex images!

Wacky Watercolor Circles – Have students paint small scraps of paper, then punch out circles and arrange.

Tape Murals – Break students into small groups to create these temporary murals.

Legacy Installation – Created by the oldest grade level in your building, this beautifies your school for years to come.

Circle Painting – We can’t forget this abstract painting collaboration!

Line Designs – Small groups can work on each sheet. Then connect them all to make the collaborative piece!

Small Group Projects

Each year I have my students create a piece of art as a class. Some of these are auctioned off to fundraise for our building. Here are some of my successful projects as well as those I can’t wait to try!

– Monthly Calendar – Have each student in a class create a background for one day of a wall calendar.

– Painted Furniture – Classes can vote on a design, and each member contributes to some part of the item. Geometric designs are easy to execute!

Exquisite Corpse, Back-To-School Collaboration OR Remixed Masterpieces – Each student makes a portion of the whole image!

Louise Nevelson Assemblages – Each student can create their own assemblage. Unify with one color.

Contemporary Quilt Blocks – This site has a complete tutorial!

Circle Weaving – Painting, weaving, and collaboration all in one place.

– Architecture Prints – Each student prints a unique building which are then displayed as a whole “city.”

Collaborative Cities – Each student takes charge of some aspect of the cityscape!

Bubbles! – Students can practice their chalk blending skills with this lesson!

Popsicle Stick Extravaganza – Each student decorates a stick!

Watercolor Shape Collages – These are awesome as triangles, circles, or squares!

Zentangle Inchies! – Get your tangle on with this pop of color!

By no means is this list exhaustive. Add your favorite collaborative projects in the comments below! Bonus points for pictures! Don’t forget, you can’t have “community” without “unity.”

What time of year do you do collaborative projects?

What are some of your favorites?

This article was written by AOE team member Alecia Eggers. Alecia is a certified K-12 Art Instructor, and currently teaches K-6 elementary art in central Iowa. She is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.

About Alecia | Alecia’s Articles

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