Craft & Design Maker News
Crowdsourced Art Project Explores the Symbolism of Keys

Keys have a very clear daily purpose in our lives; they give us access into a particular space, but what about the idea of keys? Within our culture, keys hold a larger symbolic purpose that grants them access to memories, control, explanations, interpretations, and access to whatever is being protected or hidden.

The Key Idea has taken the metaphorical representation of keys and paired it with actual keys for a unique community art project. The Key Idea invites local Cape Cod residents of all ages to select a key, and incorporate it into an art piece that explains, “what the key might open, start or do, alternatively what the key might secure or close.”

Creating works of art with The Key Idea has become such a popular project, that they have expanded their outreach to include workshops, schools, and the opportunity for people to host private parties. A more comprehensive look at where they will be holding events can be found here.

For people living outside of Cape Cod who wish to participate, you are able to mail in your art piece.  To do so, follow these steps (which are also outlined on their website):

1) Use a heavyweight piece of paper for a canvas, measured to either at 5.5 square inches or 11 square inches.

2) Affix or draw at least one key onto the paper.

3) Be creative and descriptive! Make sure your art piece contains at least one word.

4) Check that your artwork hasn’t gone more than 2 inches off of your canvas.

5) Attach a release form to the back of the piece.

6) Mail to: Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Rd., Cotuit, MA 02635

The Cotuit Center for the Arts is holding a large scale exhibit of submitted works this September.  If you would like the chance to be included, make sure your piece arrives there before August 31, 2015.

Take a look at what people have already created below and then get working on your own art piece!

Photos from Explore Art!
Photos from Explore Art!


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The Key Idea was at the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire. Read more about it here.


Elise Tarkman is the Editorial Production Manager for Make: and Makezine. Her hodgepodge history includes work in the magazine industry, DeCA, moving, bus driving, and ballet.

View more articles by Elise Tarkman