ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota
Inner Worlds

Art and Artists
 Arthur Dove
 Richard Hunt
 Cheryl Laemmle
 Betye Saar
 Kay Sage
 Yves Tanguy
 Jane Tuckerman

What is Art? Environment Identity Designing Spaces and Places
Betye Saar
About the Artist

Betye Saar, photoBetye Saar grew up in the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles before it became an urban environment. Her father had died when she was six, and she lived there with her grandmother. She remembers seeing artist Simon Rodia's Watts Towers as a young girl. Rodia decorated the front of an apartment building with bits of glass and other "cultural objects"collected from the community. This work influenced Saar.

Saar has lived in Laurel Canyon, California, since the 1960s. She began her career as a printmaker. She created art by etching images into a metal plate with acid, rubbing ink in the crevices made by the acid and then pressing paper on the metal plate to create a print. When she saw a 1967 exhibit by assemblage artist Joseph Cornell, her work changed dramatically. By 1975 she had gained national recognition for her spiritual assemblage sculptures.

Vocabulary Terms

assemblage--A three-dimensional collage created from a group of everyday objects, many times pre-made and put together in a specific way.

urban--Connected to a city; many people living in close quarters; businesses nearby.

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Inner Worlds | What Is Art? | Environment | Designing Spaces and Places | Identity
About the Art| About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities| Teacher Lessons