O-riginal Art Activities: Mixed Media Sculpture Inspired by Mario Petrirena

Inspired by Mario Petrirena’s story of immigration the O-riginal Art Activity engages themes of home, safety and sense of belonging.

Explore what home means to you by creating a mixed media house sculpture.

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Mario Petrirena, Wishing Place, 1996, Mixed media, Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Mario Petrirena was born in 1954 in Cuba. In 1962, when he was eight years old, Petrirena was sent to the U.S. as part of Operation Pedro Pan. He lived for months in a Colorado orphanage before his parents and other siblings arrived in the U.S. The traumatic experience of separation from his family and of being a political refugee- combined with the reality of his bifurcated identity as both Cuban and American- has informed much of his art practice. The recurrence of the house form in his work references concepts of home, safety and a sense of belonging.

Supplies List:

Glue sticks, Card stock, Markers, Fake flowers, Found objects


Step 1: What does home mean to you? What colors and objects represent home to you?

Step 2: Pick out two templates of the color house you want.

Step 3: Use markers to draw images or write words that remind you of home.

Step 4: Use a glue stick to decorate your house with images and objects that remind you of home.

Step 5: Use scissors to cut along the solid lines. Fold on the dotted lines. Use a glue stick to assemble your house.