George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason students, faculty get creative with 'Off the Wall' fundraiser

April 13, 2018   /   by Buzz McClain

Three academic units that share George Mason University’s Art and Design Building on the Fairfax Campus will join forces for three hours on Saturday, April 21, for the annual Off the Wall benefit.

“It’s the one time we open the building to the public, it’s a big open house,” said Susan Graziano, director of development for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “What’s fantastic about it is the studios are open, many of the art forms [taught in the building] are demonstrated and visitors become participants.”

The three units—the School of Art, the Film and Video Studies Program and the Computer Game Design Program—hope to raise $50,000 from the event, she said. As many as 15 Mason artists, programmers and their professors will take part in the event, assisted by some 100 volunteers. Food and beverage stations, included in the admission fee, will be on all three floors.

This is the fifth year the event has been held. Information on the event, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 21, is here.

The title “Off the Wall” has several meanings, said Ryan Braaten, associate director of development for CVPA. Besides the artistic nature of much of the artwork being “off the wall,” during the event guests can purchase artwork displayed on the walls of the building’s corridors. They also can assist in creating a mural and view some of the first murals that will adorn the exterior walls of several of the academic buildings on the Fairfax Campus.

Part of the proceeds of the event, which includes a silent auction of donated artwork and opportunities (lunch with a film critic, for example) will help finance the Mural Project’s Contemporary Mural Arts Festival, as well as funding scholarships and visiting artists programs.

Participatory events include printmaking with a master printer, contributing to an interactive video documentary, portrait drawings, experiencing an interactive storytelling (with face painting), having a selfie photo taken with an original backdrop, playing “nontraditional” table tennis, creating personalized social media banners and animated gifs, and sampling augmented and virtual reality computer games created by Mason faculty and students.

Admission is $40 for Mason alumni, faculty and staff and $60 for general admission. Those under 18 are admitted at no cost.

See the highlight video of last year’s event on this page: