Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows the mixed media art project that will benefit OffCenter Arts.

Mixed Media Group Art Project benefits OffCenter Arts

This particular mixed media group art project started on a whim: “Of course, I’ll submit a house.”

Just that easily I committed our creative group to producing an entry for the 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction.

It so happened the opportunity presented itself just as our members had discussed “Meaningful Creativity” and re-commited to a year of learning together with our project of the month. You can read about some of our earlier projects in a post entitled “Artful Mixed Media Project of the Month” or Group Creative Project Demand Consensus.”

As we brainstormed in late February, we discussed the synergy that comes from contribution. Each of us had ideas about what the house might represent and how that theme could be carried forward.

Susan, who had traveled in Vietnam, talked enthusiastically about the Generational Houses there, houses that reach up instead of out to conserve land. She described the extended families that lived together and we knew we had an idea. Originally titling our composition “One Roof, Hearts Combined,” we thought to place a heart on each floor.

We agreed on a palette of whimsical colors in lime green, purple, magenta, yellow and aqua and decided to incorporate zentangle, a method of creating images from repetitive patterns, as one of our primary themes. A consummate beader, I volunteered to bead mirrors for windows and created 10 of those in the proper colors.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows the starter house and the expansion block for our mixed media group art project benefitting OffCenter arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction starter house and expansion block

The first engineering problem we encountered was the rough texture of the wood and the problems it created for paint. In true group creativity fashion we solved that with sponge paint. Voila! Ready for group input.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque presents phase one of the mixed media group art project to benefit OffCenter Arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction entry in process

It took two meetings and several emails to complete the project. Four-year-old Avery, Mary’s granddaughter christened the project “Rainbow House.”

Mixed Media Entry includes paint, beads, zentangle, sculpture and general creativity

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows the mixed media art project that will benefit OffCenter Arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction entry

The five levels include one heart on each level. At the front left, an overturned wagon carries the Rainbow House designation in its bed. A path of sparkly rock leads to the front door. To the left, a beaded basket holds beaded flowers on a grass bed of sparkle.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows side 1 of the mixed media art project to benefit OffCenter Arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction entry-side 1

The side view shows additional house components, including two balconies, one of which features a large family cat in a basket.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows the back of the mixed media art project to benefit OffCenter Arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction entry back

More zentangle, sparkle and detail characterize the back of the house.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque shows side 2 of the mixed media art project to benefit OffCenter Arts.

©2018, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 2018 Albuquirky Little House Silent Auction entry-side 2

From this view you get a glimpse of additional house detail, including the glass bits that make up the roof.

This is the 13th annual fundraiser for OffCenterarts.org. OffCenter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization which believes art-making is central to community building. Located in Downtown Albuquerque since 2001, OffCenter is a safe, free of charge open arts studio for everyone to make arts. Its workshops, gallery, exhibits, outreach and economic development programming strengthen opportunities for at-risk, low-income, homeless or disabled emerging artists – reaching over 3,500 people of all ages each year.

The mission of OffCenter Arts is to promote positive self-identity and resilience through art making by providing a safe environment for creative social interaction with an emphasis to enhance the lives of those most marginalized in our community.

The Collaborheartists are proud to submit an entry to this organization for the 2018 Little House Silent Auction Fundraiser. Please join us at this year’s fundraiser event:

  • Friday, May 4, 2018
  • 5pm – 8pm
  • OffCenter Community Arts Project
  • 808 Park Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM. 87102

Will we see you there?