The Project

Each participant begins with a 12” square piece of plywood - the panel, supplied by ArtWatch. The maker will dedicate that square to one of her/his ancestors, who began their journey in America - whether in 1620 or last year, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

Participants who are themselves immigrants should use the square for their own story. Since Native Americans were the first inhabitants of this land, they are asked to honor an ancestor whose life story is important to them. The maker will use the square to commemorate the ancestor with text, imagery or any combination. Any medium is acceptable. What do we know or imagine about them and what do we want other people to know about them? How are they important to us? If the information is available, the ancestor’s name, date, and country or region of origin, should be put on the panel. We recognize that information may be fragmentary and incomplete.

Construction of the House

An underlying structure – a house – will be constructed in the gallery. The completed squares will be attached to the outside of the structure, covering it completely, embodying the remarkable range of diverse humanity who combined make up the strength of America.

How to participate

Please contact an ArtWatch team member or Black Rock Center for The Arts to arrage to pick up an ancestor panel. One House accepts cash or check. The One House $20 registration fee includes the panel and artist participation. For a full description of the project, the catalogue and images from the first One House exhibition:




  • Please place your art work on the dark side of the panel. Keep the masking tape on the panel until the piece is completed. The 1 inch border is necessary for hanging the panel to the One House structure.

  • If the panel you receive is not “pregessoed” please apply gesso, matte medium or priming paint to both surfaces (front and back), before creating your artwork. It is imperative to seal the panel to prevent warping.

  • If you want to go 3D, make it no more than an inch high or a pound in weight.

  • Leave the reverse of the panel free of artwork and indicate the following:

  • The name, date, and country and/or region of origin of the person to whom the panel is dedicated. Please write legibly.

  • When finished, remove the tape and sign clearly on the back with your name and email.

Register your panel

Once you receive your panel please register it online following the instructions you received with your panel.

Delivery Dates

Friday, October 19: 3 pm to 8 pm

Saturday, October 20: 11 am to 5 pm


Orange Door Studios

3706 Wells Ave.

Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

301 461-4175

Photography & Videography

A photographer will photograph your panel and videographer will record up to 2 minutes of video of you telling the story of your ancestor.