Abstract Hair Like Lorna Simpson Handout

Make art like Lorna Simpson, an African American artist based in New York who uses various mediums to question identity, gender, race and history, with a focus on African American women.

Today’s inspiration comes from her recent focus on hair. She uses photographs of African American women from the neck up, crops out their hair replaces it with abstract hairstyles that she creates with paint and collage. 

This project is one of the virtual classes exploring women artists, hosted on Facebook Live from 1:30-2pm every Wednesday and Friday. Materials and instructions are posted here afterwards. Tune into the live classes to ask questions, give suggestions, and interact with other students who are stuck at home!

If you want to watch the recording of the live video, check out our Youtube channel or Facebook page.


  • Lorna Simpson Handout (linked below) 
  • Something to draw, paint or collage with


  1. Explore some of her work here or google “Lorna Simpson hair” for inspiration!
  2. Draw in a face on your worksheet!
  3. After looking at some of her work, decide how you want to create your own abstract “hair.” Remeber—your “hairstyle” does not actually need to look like hair! You can use vibrant paint like Simpson, find images or lettering from newspapers or magazines that you glue onto the paper, use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create patterns and anything else you come up with! 
  4. Gather the materials you need to create the “hairstyle” you decided on. There is space to give the woman on the handout an abstract and creative hairstyle. 
  5. Show your friends, family, hang it up, and share with us using #iloveartsphereinc on Instagram or Facebook!

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