NOIR – The Sordid Chronicles of Shady Characters Workshop

The Workshop

February 11-16, 2019

In this class, using paint, sculpture and assemblage, students will create a cast of characters suitable for a classic Noir scene. Students will also create a little stage where the drama can unfold. Now for the best part… – the scenes and characters will be produced in glorious black and white (more or less) in order to accentuate the shadowy realm of the underworld and its citizens. All of this will happen as we sink into the sultry glow of neon and the Big Easy.

Workshop Gallery

About the Instructor

Michael deMeng

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.

In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.

These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.


What you need:

  1. A box or case for your stage. Could be a hollowed out radio or a jewelry box etc. Your characters will be somewhere between 2”-6” so whatever size characters you want to create will determine the box size (they have to fit inside)
  2. A variety of found objects. Items like watch parts, gears, typewriter parts – juust about anything, really. Look for things that are interesting shapes or designs. Tiny doll parts.
  3. Bits of fabric for clothing. Dark or black ideally.
  4. Paint Brushes (a couple small detail brushes, and some cheap brushes (1/2 inch to 1 inch in size)
  5. E 6000 Adhesive
  6. Eyes or things that might replicate eyes. Tiny doll eyes would be great.
  7. Optional Things to bring – Heat gun, Dremel (with cut off wheel and engraving bit, sanding drum
  8. A couple of pieces of primed canvas. 8”x10” ish. These will be the backdrop of your scene so just figure something that will cover the back of your box.