Dunwoody artist Marianne Patty became interested in collage because she likes the idea of changing things around.
In her works, she takes old postcards and reassembles them into new images.
“There was so much history in these postcards from the first decades of the 20th century that I didn’t know whether to use the front or the back of the cards, to show the penmanship,” Patty said.
Her affection for collage is shared by Ellen Stein and Roxane Hollosi, both of Sandy Springs. The three are members of the Atlanta Collage Society. They and other collage society members are exhibiting 60 works at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Their show, called “The Paper Chase: Celebrating 100 Years of Collage,” continues through Aug. 11.
Faithful to its French origin, a collage comes from the French words “à coller,” which means to glue. A collage is a kaleidoscope of artistic representations and materials juxtaposed and glued together into a flat surface to make one whole work of art.
A collage may include different pieces of paintings put together, but also an infinite variety of mementos and memorabilia, such as travel tickets, postcards, and letters.
Owing its roots to Cubism, an artistic movement which began in France in early 20th century, the idea of collage emerged in 1912 through an artistic collaboration between Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French painter Georges Braque when Picasso lived in Paris.
Picasso frequently depicted the guitar in his compositions made between 1912 and 1914, evoking his Spanish roots through an iconic symbol of the Spanish culture.
Guitars and a touch of French flair both appear as themes in the Oglethorpe Museum’s exhibition.
“I sense a musical theme and a touch of nostalgia,” Sandy Springs resident Twinkle Nelson said of Patty’s “The Vase,” a composition made of paintings, pieces of chair caning and French postcards and newspapers.
“Notice how the curve of the vase resembles the curve of a guitar,” Sandy Springs resident and university alumna Leah Hughes said, referring to the same collage. “Patty’s three pieces: ‘The Vase,’ ‘Lost’ and ‘Missing Person’ are each a collection of fragments done on purpose leading one to wonder what might be missing,” Hughes said.
Hollosi, the collage society’s president, said the organization began to form in 2006 when a group of Atlanta artists who enjoy doing collages started to meet in coffee shops to toss around ideas.
The Paper Chase: Celebrating 100 Years of Collage
Where: Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, third floor of the Philip Welter Library building on the Oglethorpe campus, 4484 Peachtree Road, N.E.
When: Through Aug. 11. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.
Cost: $5, free for members and children younger than 12.
From the coffee shops, the group moved to the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody until a few years ago, when they found a home for their bi-monthly gatherings at the Atlanta Artist Center. They have been meeting there ever since.
Hollosi said their meetings typically include information about collage as a medium and a public speaker who may have some connection with collage and mixed media.
Hollosi said this is the first time the society has exhibited at Oglethorpe. She said she first learned of the Oglethorpe museum when she attended the recent pastel exhibit.
“I think the Oglethorpe museum is a fabulous and elegant venue,” Hollosi said. “It has enough space for a significant exhibit, yet intimate enough to be able to get close and personal with the art work.”