Below you’ll find a quick and easy #ArtAtHome assignment: to make a string-and-knot card that celebrates the human connection and diversity using simple materials. This art-based challenge is part of a series that celebrates past ArtPrize-winning entries. Find more from this series here.

String-And-Knot Card

Using string, paper, and drawing tools, create a standing card that shows how you are connected to people all over the world.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Hole punch
  • Colored pencils, markers, or other drawing tools

How to make it:

  1. Measure your paper to be 5” x 12” and cut out your rectangle.
  2. Fold and crease your paper into thirds, and unfold to reveal three equal squares.
  3. Holding your paper lengthwise, gently bring the two sides together without making a crease. Use your hole punch to make a hole through both ends of the paper. This will be sure that the holes are in line with one another. Lay the paper flat.
  4. Draw yourself in the center square. Your drawing could be of you doing a favorite hobby, in front of your house, in nature, or with someone you love.
  5. In the other two squares, draw a person from another country whom you’d like to meet. Think about what you would like to ask them about their life. 
  6. Tie a loose knot in the center of your string. Thread the string through both holes and secure with a loose knot on each end. The knot at the center should be over the drawing of yourself.
  7. Open your card to see how the string connects all of the figures you drew! How do you think you are similar to these people? How are you different? 

Our Inspiration for this Challenge

The String Project by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez, Public Vote Grand Prize Winner at ArtPrize 2018.

This series of 40 photographs by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez aims to capture the idea that all humans are connected to one another. In each photo within The String Project exhibition, people from all over the world are seen holding the same string. The artists deem this string as “a visible representation symbolizing an invisible connection.” When the viewer looks at this exhibition, it appears as though the subject in every photo is connected by the string. No matter our cultural or physical characteristics or where we are in the world, we are all more similar and connected than we think.

"We are all part of this world: we love, we suffer, these are all things that we have in common, that connect us,” said Cortez. “The physical string visually represents a connection that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The project is a reminder that highlights some of the most valuable things in life: respect, hope, peace, compassion, love, empathy, integrity...authentic and genuine interactions that humans crave.”

By Allison Palm on