Art with Alyssa: “Stained Glass” Tissue Paper Project

Sterling Inspired 2

This art project, which is inspired by the works of Justin Sterling, a Black artist who currently has an art installation at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Create the project at home, then visit Sterling's exhibit, Chapel of the Rocks, before it closes on Feb. 12. Local art teacher Alyssa Navapanich creates the illusion of stained glass using colored tissue paper and contact paper. Getting to know the works of Black artists is a wonderful way to honor Black History Month.

SUPPLIES

Tissue paper in bright colors

Scissors

Clear contact paper, cut to 8.5” x 11”

Ruler

Black or other colored construction paper to use as a frame

Clear tape

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cover your workspace with a large paper bag, placemat or plastic cloth.
  2. Cut geometric and organic shapes from colored tissue paper. 
  3. Arrange them on your work surface to create an abstract image.
  4. Fold the contact paper in half so that it is 8.5” x 5.5”. Unfold.
    sterling A    sterling B
  5. With sticky side up, carefully pull half the backing off the contact paper (so that half is still covered).
  6. Move the tissue paper cut outs from your work surface to the sticky side of the contact paper in your desired design. Be careful as once the tissue attaches to the contact paper, it is not moveable. 
  7. Once all the tissue paper is on the contact paper, pull the backing off the other half and gently fold the contact paper over the design to seal the tissue paper inside. 
  8. Using the construction paper, create a frame to go around the edge of your project.
    sterling C
  9. Tape the image to the paper frame and hang in a window so light shines through the back. 

Sterling inspired 1

Alyssa Navapanich is an award-winning art educator who teaches art to elementary school kids in East County.

“Chapel of the Rocks,” a powerful art installation by Houston native, Justin Sterling, is an approximately 1,000-square-foot structure, suffused with light refracted through stained-glass windows, which Sterling shattered with rocks and then rebuilt in new ways. The windows, as well as features like the fire hydrant “gargoyles” on the chapel’s exterior, were salvaged from the streets of New York City, where Sterling now lives. 

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