a participatory project featuring artist-created activity sheets to make things or make things happen #mkthngshppn
Make Things (Happen), installation view of display units holding 41 activity sheets, plus work table with art supplies. Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA.

Organized by Christine Wong Yap with 46 artists and collaboratives, Make Things (Happen), 2014–15, 46 activity sheets, mixed media, participation; sheets: 8.5 x 11 inches / 216 x 279 mm each; open edition. Installation view at Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2015.

First shown in New York in 2014, Make Things (Happen) was expanded for an Oakland, CA exhibition with 45 artist-created activity sheets, interactive work stations, offsite locations, and artist-led public events.

Make Things (Happen) was initially exhibited in Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration, curated by Deb Willis and Hank Willis Thomas at Nathan Cummings Foundation (Mar. 27–Oct. 2, 2014) and NYU Tisch School of the Arts DPI (Oct. 16–Nov. 29, 2014).

The expanded project comprised the Make Things (Happen) exhibition at Interface Gallery in Oakland, CA (Feb. 4–Mar. 1, 2015).

During the February 6 opening reception, the public could probe the twin histories of astronomy and astrology with Lauren Marie Taylor, and make a star chart, create new constellations, then officially name and dedicate their very own star. Read my interview with Lauren on knowing, believing, and psychomagic.

On February 7, Meal Ticket with Lexa Walsh brought together different individuals for a home-cooked meal and recipe exchange to facilitate conversation and community. The recipes will be complied into a community cookbook, creating a unique group identity, while the meals propose a temporary utopia to encourage a hospitable democracy. Read my interview with Lexa about Meal Ticket and hospitable democracy.

In conjunction, the public was also invited to find four sheets at offsite locations: Book/Shop, Lanesplitter Pizza, La Commune Bookstore at Omni Oakland Commons, and Royal Nonesuch Gallery.

See completed activity sheets and more tagged #mkthngshppn.


Make Things (Happen) includes a great many more participating artists, which means a lot more choices for us. While some of the artists’ instructables can be executed solo, Yap is a great fan of the Venn diagram: Overlapping with others is the real payoff.” Silke Tudor, “DIY Gallery,” SF Weekly (February 4, 2015).

“a fun and fascinating reminder that art is not only visual, but social as well.” Sarah Burke, East Bay Express (February 25, 2015).

“At first, I was skeptical toward the invite, but soon realised that most of us need a prompt to think about actually making something. ...This project is never-ending, loose-ended. Something might come of it, something might not, but with the array of genuinely fun and simple actions proposed, the results are on us, not the artist.” Pete Brook, (June 18, 2014).