Q&A: Pop Artist Michael Albert

Pop Art Program

After a successful program last month, pop artist Michael Albert is back in Des Moines next Friday, July 22 to present two different programs. This second visit in Des Moines is part of his Summer Pop Art Tour, where he's hosting 120 programs in 9 states over 65 days! His program at the North Side Library was a huge success last month, and there's a lot of excitement about his return, where he will not only be hosting his Modern Pop Art program again (at East Side Library this time), but he's also hosting a special children/teen program.

Albert was nice enough to answer a few questions in the midst of his busy schedule about his art, where he's well known for creating "cerealism." Click on the links below to register for his programs on July 22!

Michael Albert Programs (registration required):

 

Q: One of your trademark art styles is something you call "cerealism," comprised of collages made from cereal boxes. How and why did you begin do this?

A: The idea of creating collages out of cereal boxes and other printed cardboard packages evolved over the course of about 10 years of art making. When I was about 19, I began drawing, cutting, and pasting. First, I used different materials I had at my office and home that I realized I didn’t need anymore. This included old and obsolete labels, stickers, pamphlets, and junk mail. Ten years later, I first used a cereal box as a collage material when I created the Frosted Flakes box that became what I call “The birth of Cerealism”.

I’ve continued to use this type of material for the past 26 years and have created several thousand original collage works with these types of materials. I have developed my traveling workshop using these types of packages. It's a very universal thing - everyone has them and is familiar with the images, colors, fonts, and characters that are found on our consumer brand packages.

 

Frosted Flakes
Frosted Flakes #1

 

Q: When you create a piece of art, do you have a goal to start? and how much do you let your piece evolve from its initial vision?

A: I often have an idea when I begin an artwork, but as I work and sort through the materials, other ideas develop and the original idea changes as it comes into being. Also, as I cut pieces for the collage I’m working on, I also cut and collect pieces for other future projects that I’m either already working on or thinking about doing.

 

Cap'n Crunch
Cap'n Crunch Berries

Q: You've visited dozens of libraries to present your art and lead workshops. What is it about libraries that you like?

A: Libraries are the perfect venue for my program for many reasons. First, they are places where people come to learn things. It’s a great honor to be invited to a library to share what I do and my story with people in different communities. Libraries are the center of the community. It's one thing to be able to travel to different cities and see the landscape and landmarks, but to have a group of local people who use their library to meet and work with is really something special. Finally, besides being a safe place, libraries have community rooms which are perfect spaces with tables and chairs (and air conditioning in the summertime!)

I love librarians because they are teachers for the public. They know a lot about a wide range of topics and are ready, willing and able to assist us in finding materials about whatever we’re interested in learning.

 

Sunflowers
Sunflowers

Q: What will be happening on your programs on Friday, July 22?

A: At both programs, I’ll introduce myself and show the group my book, An Artist's America, and different examples of my original artworks. The initial talk I give is slightly different, based on the age groups to which I'm speaking. Then, we’ll have a Hands-On collage workshop where the participants will have the chance to create their own artworks using the same materials that I use to create my serious pieces. Finally, all participants will receive a free signed print (from a selection of about 20 different ones) as a special thank you for attending.

Published on July 13, 2022
Last Modified August 18, 2022