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Sunday, December 21, 2014 | Last updated: 10:15am

Artists turn to cardboard for fundraiser



This week, cardboard boxes and recycled products will be put to creative use at the second annual Cardboard Ball. The cardboard-themed dance party will return to the Tucson community on Saturday.

Last year, the first Cardboard Ball was brought to fruition under Mykl Wells, a local Tucson artist and co-founder of the All Souls Procession. Wells was invited to Italy to compete in a month-long artistic competition called Cartasia in 2012 and hosted the Cardboard Ball in Tucson as a fundraiser for his trip.

This year, the event is intended to raise funds to finance workshops for the upcoming All Souls Procession.

Thanks to these funds, community members who want to participate in making crafts for the procession will be able to do so for free. Buying things like clay, paint and flour for paper maché will encourage people to become active contributors to the All Souls Procession, Wells said.

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Photo courtesy of Mykl Wells Last year's Cardboard Ball participant Tammy Allen poses with Mykl Wells' "Chimera," a cardboard sculpture.

“It’s a rewarding and beautiful way to transform culture and build community,” he added.

As for the Cardboard Ball, community members will essentially participate in an art gallery and fashion walk created entirely from recycled materials and cardboard boxes. The ball will host cardboard-inspired art pieces, from small paintings to huge cardboard installations, made by more than 30 local artists.

Additionally, attendees are encouraged to become fashionistas in outfits crafted from cardboard. Last year, a woman attended the event clad in cardboard Lederhosen. This year, Wells said, should prove to be just as surprising.

“There’s no telling what people will bring,” he said, noting how creative people are when they’re given full artistic freedom. He added that his role in the event is simply creating the atmosphere, while the success and uniqueness of the event are based on what artists bring to the show.

“It’s really up to the artists, so what I have to do is offer complete artistic freedom,” he said. “When you give people the creative freedom, they make amazing things.”

This year, DJs will play 80s-inspired music and electronica to rile up attendees,. There will also be food trucks. Borderlands Brewery created a malty brew specifically for the event, and Tap & Bottle is providing wine.

“There is really a lot of charm and homegrown funkiness about it,” Wells added. “It’s just a big party, basically.”

Susan Tiss, a volunteer for the event, said she’s looking forward to the ball this year, where the community can get together in celebration of the upcoming All Souls Procession.

“The fact that people made wearable art made it more interesting,” Tiss said. “It turned into something that’s more than a gallery.”


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