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Grab Your Group and Get to Know Gabrielle: Group Art Events at Wheelhouse Studios

Craving a creative activity for an upcoming birthday celebration? Searching for a social event for your registered student organization (RSO)? Hosting a bachelor or bachelorette party? No matter the occasion, art-making is even more fun with friends, family, or co-workers. At Wheelhouse Studios on the lower level of Memorial Union, you and your group can relax and socialize while making meaningful mementos that you will treasure forever!

Group events at Wheelhouse are perfect for building camaraderie and practicing self-care while creating an artistic masterpiece. If you have a group of eight or more people, you can fill out a group event inquiry form at least two weeks prior to your desired event date. You will then have the opportunity to work with the fabulous Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli, Wheelhouse’s program director. Gabrielle will help you design a unique project that’s tailor-made to fit your group’s wants and needs.

Group event projects can include, but are not limited to:

Team members from the Center for Academic Excellence show off their wood burning and painted flower pot creations on Aug. 11, 2022.
  • Wood burning
  • Acrylic painting
  • Ink flow tiles
  • Ceramic trays
  • Mosaic tiles
  • Necklace pendants
  • Punch needle
  • Painted mini flower pots
  • Beaded keychains
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Smash book journals
  • Fused glass

The options are endless for ways to express your artistry as a group! Whether you have a specific idea in mind or are looking for inspiration, Gabrielle will help you make your artistic dreams become reality.

“Art and art-making are part of the social education landscape at the Wisconsin Union,” Gabrielle said. “My job is to work with on- and off-campus groups as well as Wisconsin Union members to get their creative juices flowing for team-building, self-expression and all-around fun!”

Gabrielle and the Terrace creation she made while leading Paintacular on Sept. 5, 2022.

Gabrielle’s affection for art began at a young age with a love for painting and drawing, as well as a passion for graffitiing her bedroom wall. She always knew she wanted to “help make our world a little better,” which led her to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in political science. After graduating college, she became communications director at a Chicago arts advocacy organization, working behind the scenes to connect her two interests: art and community impact. She realized after a few years in this position that she “wanted to be on the other side – to be the artist and arts facilitator.”

Eventually, her artistic endeavors brought her to Wheelhouse Studios. She served as an art instructor from 2016-2020 and, in June 2022, she began her role as program director. In addition to facilitating group events, Gabrielle organizes the free art events on campus, including Free Art Fridays during the academic year and Terrace Art Zone during the summer months. On Sept. 5, 2022, Gabrielle guided 950 people in painting personal masterpieces on the Memorial Union Terrace during the annual Paintacular, Madison’s largest group paint event. 

“One highlight of Paintacular was watching artists share their completed artwork with the enthusiastic, roaring crowd,” Gabrielle said. “Sharing your creativity with others and having people accept it without negative judgment is human nature, and it’s one of the powerful benefits of making art as a community.”

One of Gabrielle’s recent projects.

When not working at Wheelhouse, Gabrielle enjoys spending time with her family, visiting different parts of Wisconsin, gardening (She loves to grow sunflowers!), attending concerts and art shows and, of course, making her own art. She especially loves upcycling art, art journaling, Gelli printing, and working with canvas, inks and textiles. She also participates in mail art, an artistic movement where artists share their artwork with one another by mail!

You won’t want to miss this chance to work with Gabrielle to plan an unforgettable project for your next group event. Have an idea that you’re burning to put into action ASAP? Don’t forget to fill out the group event inquiry at least two weeks before your desired date. We can’t wait to see what you create next at Wheelhouse Studios!

Author: Abby Synnes

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