Art installation to display ‘community action’ in Port Townsend on Sunday

PORT TOWNSEND — An installation artist will lead a group of 10 volunteers in making a work of art on the parade grounds at Fort Worden State Park as a “community action of art” this Sunday.

Artist Mavis Muller of Homer, Alaska, will lead the creation of a 25-foot-diameter ground design using donated fabric. The design is of a raised fist clutching the balanced scales of justice with the word “United.”

The public is invited to participate starting at 1 p.m.

All are asked to bring a brightly colored article of clothing to add to the design, then, “like a human mosaic,” participants will pose for a group photo to be taken at 2 p.m. by David Conklin from up high in a bucket lift.

“The image will be widely shared to inspire and energize others,” Muller said.

“The community of Port Townsend is invited to gather in the spirit of collaborative creativity to send a strong message of unity to preserve and defend threatened values we hold to be true and just,” she added.

“Our photogenic ‘action of art,’ is a grass-roots call to rise up together and rally for a fair and just future for all, for all life,” Muller said.

“It’s affirming because it reminds us that community and culture are very much in our control as we support each other and support the national and local nonprofits focused on building a world that is habitable and humane.”

Sue Hoover of Port Townsend has assisted in organizing the event and is providing lodging for Muller, who has traveled to Port Townsend to lead the interactive art experience.

Muller and Hoover met by chance at a coffee shop in Port Townsend.

“When I saw pictures of her community ‘action of art’ projects, I became excited at the thought of doing one here,” Hoover said.

“Her proposed design resonated with me, and I helped get the ball rolling. I’m hoping to see many people of all ages come out for this, to get our positive message of unity out into the world in this unique, creative way.”

One of the components of the fabric design, the painted banner that says “United,” will go back to Muller’s hometown in Alaska to be used in a similar community art project, which is planned for April 29, People’s Climate Mobilization Day.

Muller has led eight community “actions of art” ground design projects that have involved hundreds in an aerial group photo.

Muller also tours with the Burning Basket project, which involves creating a large outdoor sculpture of an intricately woven basket that invites public participation and is ultimately ignited as a performance of fire-art.

She has led 36 basket-burning enactments in many different communities, including Port Townsend last December.

“Art is communication,” Muller said. “With our creativity and imagination, we can inspire new possibilities and we can have fun doing it. We’re stronger when we collaborate.”

Learn more about her art projects at www. facebook.com/Burning BasketProject.