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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

From Portraits to Murals, Torn Paper Collage Artist Capitalizes on an Earth-friendly Approach to Creativity

Updated: Feb 19

"Welcome Diversity" -- 9'x12' torn paper collage by Hallie Sanclemente Morrison is permanently installed inside the main entrance at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL. Scroll down for more of Hallie's artwork...

Most people would stare at a stack of magazines and ponder whether to recycle or read. Not Hallie Sanclemente Morrison, a torn paper collage artist. She excitedly sees a colorful potential new palette she can seize upon for her next project.

Hallie was first introduced to the torn-paper process of making art while still a high school student and has loved it ever since. In fact, she has gone on to make it her favorite medium. With an extensive international education in fine art, she has studied in Rome and Ireland, as well as the U.S. at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has also worked as an art educator and art director abroad and even as far away as Thailand.  

“I enjoy learning about other cultures which often inspires my work,” Hallie says who describes herself as a first-generation Colombian American with indigenous Guatemalan roots and is deeply reverent to Mother Earth.

“I also like the fact that my art is environmentally friendly by recycling materials that might otherwise be discarded," she explains. "Art supplies can be expensive which is why I enjoy being resourceful using what’s already around me. The expense of traditional art supplies should not be a barrier to creativity.”

Currently, Hallie has a 9-ft by 12-ft mural on display inside the main entrance of Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL entitled, “Welcome Diversity”. She created it with the assistance of her art students in Thailand where she lived and worked for two years.

She states that her mission is to share the transformative impact of creativity brought to her from working around the globe with various Indigenous communities. She adds that her projects with different international community groups have resulted in many positive outcomes including the co-creation of small handicraft businesses, educational resources, international arts educator trainings, and a world-wide community of peers. She considers her artmaking to be healing, as it is inspired by art-as-therapy and contemplative approaches.

Not only is cultural diversity a source of her inspiration but so is simply walking in the woods near her home. She continually finds creative direction there while surrounded by the biological diversity of Mother Nature.

“I love the forest floor with all its organic, irregular shapes scattered along the ground,” she says. “It’s like a living collage – super chaotic with random leaves, acorns, twigs and grasses. It’s intriguing and inspiring.”

Hallie compares collage work to building a puzzle bringing many pieces together to create a larger image like a mosaic or stained glass. She has elevated the process even more by doing portraits and accepting commissions. Definitely her torn-paper approach to artmaking presents a new way for viewers to take in her "big picture" -- piece by colorful piece.

For more information, visit: Hallie Morrison (


 "Feminine Matrixial"

Detail from "Feminine Matrixial" shown in full above.

“Su Favorita”

"In Memoriam Grammy Raquel"

"Aura 1"

Hallie's circular palette table segments the colors she needs easily at hand per project.



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