At-Home Art Activity: Create Your Community

At-Home Art Activity: Create Your Community

Get inspired by the artist Benjamin Wigfall’s ideas about art and community and create your own paper sculpture.

Grade Level:
Grades 3-5, Grades K-2
African American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art
Subject Area:
African American, Fine Arts, Visual Arts
Activity Type:
Hands-On Activity, Special Exhibition

At-Home Art Activity: Create Your Community


Benjamin Wigfall was born on November 17, 1930, in Richmond, VA. He grew up in the Church Hill area and later moved to New York State where he created what was known as Communications Village, which was a community art center that met in a large brick building. Wigfall invited members from his community, both students and teachers, to join him there for workshops. Here, the students learned various art making techniques such as printmaking, photography, and more. Communications Village preserved stories of the community.

An educator, printmaker, abstract and assemblage artist, Wigfall was the youngest artist to have a work enter the VMFA collection. His work focuses on the connection between art, community, fairness and justice. Wigfall works serve as visual expressions unique to Black communities.

Be inspired by the photo sculpture of Communications Village by Rose Tripoli and Wigfall’s ideas to create your own community space! Follow the steps below to make your building and fill it with family, friends, teachers, and community members that have had an impact on you.

Communications Village Cut-Out, ca. 1974–76, Rose Tripoli, Benjamin L. Wigfall Artist Archives (VA-12), Gift of Michael Gino Wigfall and Gia Oke-Bello, Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library, VMFA Archives, Richmond, Virginia, VA.






1. Print your building template on 8.5×11 printer paper. Follow the template and cut along the dashed lines. Use scissors to cut out the top two triangles.

2. Use scissors to continue cutting along the dashed lines. You will cut out the doors and windows to your house. Be careful not to cut along the solid lines.

3. Along the two solid lines, fold each side of your paper into the center. Next, fold the windows and doors back so you can see inside of your house.

4. Once your house is assembled, use color pencils or crayons to draw your family, friends, teachers, or other impactful persons in the window and doors of your house. Use a pencil or pen to trace the inside of the window and doors to create a frame to draw your community members.

5. Consider what your house represents. What activities will take place? Will people teach classes there? Use color pencils to design and color your house.

6. Display your community house and be inspired to celebrate your own community!



Untitled (Description: Robert Blackburn and Benjamin Wigfall in doorway of Communications Village), 1972-1982, Rose Tripoli (American, Active 20th century), Photography, Modern and Contemporary Art, 2022.239

This photograph, created by photographer Rose Tripoli, of Robert Blackburn and Benjamin Wigfall is a close-up of the doorway into Communications Village. Robert Blackburn (on left) is standing next to Benjamin Wigfall (on right). Blackburn and Tripoli visited Communications Village to lead workshops, create art and mentor youth in the community.

This activity was developed in conjunction with the special exhibition Benjamin Wigfall and Communications Village on view in 2023.