Maker Day On The Plaza

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Public Event
All Day Event

Maker Day

In a similar spirit, Maker Day on the Convention Center Plaza presents a range of creative making projects from outdoor yoga to sign making to making dumplings to knitting. Join us on the Plaza for the last official day of the Creative City Challenge, Saturday, September 13, from 10 am – 4 pm. All events are free and fun.


James Airhart and Elizabeth Ryan, Butterfly Knit Bombs

The butterfly has inspired cultures and individuals around the world for centuries, sparking artistry and insight. As a universal symbol. At Maker Day, there will be a supply of pre-made yarn butterflies. Attendees will be able to take one and tie it around the Balancing Ground posts with a longer piece of yarn attached. There will also be supplies and instructions at a mini-maker station for those who want to learn how to make their own butterfly to hang. Tied to each butterfly will be a paper tag, on which people can write down what keeps them balanced. Throughout the day, the collection will grow until the posts are covered in butterflies.

Beatrix*JAR, Let’s Make Some Sounds!

YOU are the STAR in Beatrix*JAR! Sing! Play AM radios paired with flash cameras! Activate modified children’s toys! DJ with samples and electronic beats! Sound Art Duo Beatrix*JAR take audience participation to a new level with a hands-on audio playground where you make the sounds! Noted for their unique musical performances and non traditional approach to sound art, real life couple Jacob Roske (JAR) and Bianca Pettis (Beatrix), draw their inspiration from the Fluxus Art movement and artists like John Cage and Jean Michel Basquiat. Beatrix*JAR self-released three albums of note: I Love You Talk Bird (2005), Golden Fuzz (2007) and Art*Star (2010) and are recipients of a 2010 Archibald Bush Fellowship in Media Arts. The duo has been featured at the Hammer Art Museum (LA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Wexner Art Center (Columbus, Ohio) and the American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore).

Molly Balcom Raleigh and Emily Stover, Dumpling House

The simple act of preparing food with friends is a powerful way to share history, build knowledge, and foster strong relationships in a community of people. As both neighbors and artists working with food as a social medium, we often find ourselves sharing a table and sharing ideas for places where people connect through cooking. One winter day over baguette sandwiches, we wondered what it would be like to steam dumplings in an enclosed space, and suddenly the Dumpling House emerged as a collaborative project. As a part of Maker Day, we will use our complementary artistic strengths to create a space that invites many levels of participation—from passers-by seeing Dumpling House as an intriguing design element on the plaza, to visitors spending time inside learning, making, and eating dumplings. We see power in reflecting on the meditative quality of a simple food craft while immersed in a surprising sensory environment.

Gorilla Yogis

Gorilla Yogis is a movement, a migration to yoga beyond studio walls. Gorilla Yogis gather to practice urban jungle yoga in unexpected, offbeat places. In parks, on street corners, in museums, art galleries, at cafes, in restaurants, in music venues, on barges on the Mississippi River, on rooftop decks, on farms, in barns, in lofts, abandoned spaces, baseball fields. It’s yoga out of captivity. Each month we host donation based yoga events where we raise money for organizations that are doing hard work to make this jungle an awesome place to live. Gorilla Yogis will take over Convention Center Plaza at 10:00 am on Maker Day, Saturday, September 13.

Peter Haakon Thompson, Mobile Sign Shop

The Mobile Sign Shop is inspired by the vernacular of cabin name signs found in Northern Minnesota. At the beginning of roads leading to a lake with cabins, there can often be found a collection of wooden/engraved/painted/ handmade signs bearing the names of residents i.e. The Thompson’s in the case of my grandparents. During Maker Day the Mobile Sign Shop will host a sign making workshop. Participants will be able to create a sign with their name, last name or first name or names for entire extended families. Much like the cabin name signs, personalization is encouraged and facilitated. The Mobile Sign Shop is housed in a trailer that provides an attention getting location stocked with sign making supplies and information. This trailer is not a standard utility trailer, but recognizable as a location for activity, painted brightly, with flags and a pop-up shade/weather awning. Inserting a non-standard, incongruous tool into public space, brings out people’s curiosity and willingness to engage, leading to more potential participants. The workshop will provide materials, paint and brushes etc. as well as assistance in carving out letters with a router.

Play From Scratch

Roll up your sleeves and start inventing with YOXO, the hit construction toy from Minnesota-based green toy company Play from Scratch! YOXO transforms paper towel tubes into dragonflies, turns cereal boxes into robots and helps remind kids (and adults) that everyone is creative. Make your creation, take your picture to share and then take apart and recycle your invention! YOXO® (“yock-so”), made from Minnesota-based toy company Play from Scratch®, is an exciting new eco-awesome construction toy made from sustainable materials and designed to inspire relentlessly creative kids with colorful Y, O and X links that connect in thousands of ways and attach to recyclable stuff around your house (like paper towel tubes and cereal boxes) to build anything you can imagine! High-density YOXO cores are made from 100% recycled fiber and are recyclable, made with soy-based inks and water-based coatings and made in the USA. YOXO links are both recyclable and designed to withstand years of creative play. For more information visit

Soozin Hirschmugl, sPARKit Mobile Unit Puppet Make and Take 

Come  one come all  join us at the SPARKit  for a special rod puppet make and take! Come learn about hinges, brads, and accordion folds and create a unique rod puppet that you can take home to stage your own show! sPARKit is a mobile camper/pop-up park with all of the amenities needed to turn a green, common space into a celebratory community conversation space to “spark” conversations in a fun, family-friendly environment.

Wil Natzel, Wearable Hats and Corrugation

A series of modular whimsical hats designed by artist Wil Natzel exclusively will be given away during Maker Day. Come help assemble your own hat creations and watch a video demonstration of his specialized CNC cutting machine as it fabricates hat parts. Have fun as you make your own architectural follies, using custom mass produced die cut cardboard circles with interlocking slots. Learn how structures are made and assembled to form habitable spaces while discovering your bodies proportion to space.

Justin Schell, Fruit Orchestra

Using a laptop and a MaKey MaKey, which uses high resistance switching to detect when you’ve made a connection even through materials that aren’t very conductive, participants can make music by tapping, shaking, and hitting pieces of fruit. This interactive experience will offer a different tactile way for making sound and music from unexpected sources.

Susan L. Solarz, Make Your Own Musical PVC Stool

Public benches don’t have to be boring. Just ask sculptor Susan L. Solarz who calls her work “useful art.”  Solarz’s Musical PVC Bench functions as outdoor seating and can be played like a musical instrument. Striking the tops of the PVC pipes with one of the attached paddles, a hand, or even a flip flop forces the air through the pipe quickly, producing a musical sound. On Maker Day, stop by Solarz’s table to make your own useful art. Learn how to solvent weld as you build a beautiful and comfortable stool from PVC pipe. You can also make a paddle or just use your hands to play your very own “musical chair.” All materials provided. More about Solarz, including a video of her bench, on MPR’s State of the Arts blog. Learn more about the maker space where Solarz makes her art here.

Dr. Ann Marie Thomas and Engineering Students from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas, Squishy Circuits

Come sculpt your own working electrical circuits using Squishy Circuits! Learn the fundamentals of electrical circuitry using colorful, squishy, conductive and insulating play dough. More information here.

Presented By

The Creative City Challenge, a competition for Minnesota artists and architects to create a destination artwork. which acts as a sociable and participatory platform for summer-long onsite activities, is presented by the Minneapolis Convention Center and Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis in collaboration with Northern

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