Tiny House Studio Tour
Public Engagement Project
Mobile Tiny House
Here I am with the Tiny House Studio in Eastport, ME
First location: Calais, ME
Second location: Eastport, ME
Third location: Machias, ME
Fourth location: Steuben, ME
The Tiny House Studio Tour involved engaging the public through unconventional modes of art in rural communities, specifically in coastal Washington County. In March of 2015, I visited four different towns in a mobile tiny house. Beginning with Calais then on to Eastport, Machias and lastly, Steuben. In each location I parked the mobile studio in a public space, allowing the studio to be as visible as possible to community members, the intent was to encourage interaction. I offered free hand embroidery, knitting and needle felting classes, in addition to free coffee, from the Tiny House Studio. Each community member that visited the studio was asked to write down one word that they thought best described what makes a community a good place to live in. The words were collected throughout the tour and later transferred to fabric and hand embroidered, as a tribute to the project and a way to recognize and document each person's involvement.
My intention for this art work was to create unexpected, unconventional interactions and create spaces that can inspire different perspectives and stimulate creativity. My belief is that positive communal exchange through a socially engaged art practice, based in rural areas, has the ability to encourage cultural wealth and quality of place.
In May 2015, the next iteration of this project, the Tiny House Studio traveled to Portland, ME and stayed for a week. The rural spirit traveled along with the Tiny House Studio, nestled snuggly in a small green space near the Maine College of Art and there I also offered free classes. At the very least, passersby stopped to investigate and some stayed for a quick needle felting tutorial. Allowing the urban environment to overlap with my rural concept, while the project appeared in the MFA thesis exhibition, created the perfect public engagement experiment that would continue to fuel my art practice.