Projects designed to be an integral part of the museum exhibitions for visitors to engage and create within the space. With each exhibition, thousands of museum visitors including adults, children and students have contributed to each project.



May 1 to October 6, 2019

Featured in “Rocked & Rolled” at Illinois State Museum, Lockport Gallery and Illinois State Museum, Springfield.

An interactive exhibition of 24 handmade boxes featuring miniature vignettes inspired by rock and roll songs. All songs contain a lyric or title with “Doors”. Visitors can open the doors and look for clues to guess the band and song represented in each box. All participants of “The Doors” game are entered into a raffle to win a handmade “Doors” pin.

Click here to view the answers!


January 13 – February 24, 2018
In combination with Recovered: The Art of Donna Castellanos at Beverly Art Center

Visitors are invited to shovel their spot, move the yard furniture and claim dibs! It’s winter in Chicago. Heads will roll!

Includes nearly 400 hand-rolled encyclopedia paper snowballs with heads of historical figures. All enclosed in a parking space made of books and covers.

Guest Storybook

January 13 – February 24, 2018
In combination with Recovered: The Art of Donna Castellanos at Beverly Art Center

Visitors may fill in stories, drawings, doodles, poems, words of wisdom, or thoughts about the artwork or exhibition. These books will travel to future exhibitions.

Building in Color

JUNE 10 - AUGUST 26, 2018

Collaboration with Alfonso Castellanos

Choose a recycled CD "window". Cut and stick the colored transparent tape provided to create your own mosaic design. When completed, very carefully slide your window into the I-beam frames to add to a Mies inspired building. Be sure to note the different effects produced after the "window" is part of a larger structure. 

Community installation as part of Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views at Elmhurst Art Museum

Rescuer of Once Loved Things: The Art of Donna Castellanos

March 17-May 20, 2018

Three community interactive installations designed to engage visitors in my solo exhibition, Rescuer of Once Loved Things at Elmhurst Art Museum. Each project was directly related to the themes of the different rooms of the exhibition.

The Family Tree

Visitors are invited to peel off a piece of bark from the Family Tree. Using the supplies provided (needle and thread) visitors can stitch their name, the name of a loved one or a unique design. When finished the bark could be buttoned back to the family tree to contribute to the collaborative project or taken home as a keep-sake from the exhibition.

Homework Station

Using pages from encyclopedia books attached to the wall, visitors are invited to rip pages, find words and images to cut and glue and create their own small collage artwork to be displayed amongst other visitor creations. 

All scrap paper was recycled into the designated recycling bin sculptures filled up throughout the course of the exhibition.

Tell Me About It

Using the provided typewriters visitors are invited to type their own stories, poems, thoughts or narratives in relation to corresponding 1970's collectable figurines. The typed notes were then added to small collective booklets along side the project station to be shared with other visitors.

Over 200 personalized responses were contributed by visitors in the throughout the exhibition. 

An interactive installation created as part of the traveling exhibition, Gertrude Abercrombie: Portrait of the Artist as a Landscape.

Visitors are welcomed into a nocturnal scene, complete with objects made in homage to Abercrombie’s personal emblems and themes. Here, gallery viewers are encouraged to become active participants, by playing, creating, and performing with a variety of props. Within the adjoining room, a visitor art creation area is available for further hands-on interpretation by museum guests.

Hebru by YOU

SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 – JANUARY 7, 2018

An interactive installation created as part of the solo exhibition, Hebru Brantley: Forced Field at Elmhurst Art Museum

Visitors are invited to use the colorful wax sticks provided to contribute to and fill in a large "coloring book" mural designed by Chicago artist, Hebru Brantley. Visitors can also try on a cape and goggles inspired by Hebru Brantley's famed character, Fly Boy.  Great for selfies! The interactive exhibition was viewed by and contributed to by nearly 8,000 visitors throughout the course of the exhibition. 

Human Touch
Community Projects

MAY 14 - AUGUST 27, 2017

Three community art projects designed to engage visitors with the artworks in the exhibition, The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection at Elmhurst Art Museum.

Lichtenstein in the Third Dimension
Mannequin, magnetic paint, magnetic dots, sticker dots, magnetic objects (ball, bucket, book and never forget the sunscreen).

Visitors are invited to get playful and give this girl a Pop Art Lichtenstein look by applying the dots provided


Get Close
Magnetic paint, magnetic board, yarn.

Visitors are invited to join the project and bring your own perspective. Little by little square by square, contribute visitors contribute yarn art to the Chuck Close inspired collage.


Pencil Me In
Color pencils, wood panel

Visitors are invited to join the project by adding color pencils to the pencil mosaic, which is inspired by the piece titled “Charmer” by Mequitta Ahuja exhibited in the Carney Gallery.

WHO Are You? Photo Booth

February 25, 2017 - May 7, 2017


Created as part of the exhibition, Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago at Elmhurst Art Museum.

Grab some Chicago Imagists inspired props and snap your pretty pose!

Speech and thought bubbles slip right on the backdrop pegs.
Bluetooth selfie stick available for that perfect shot.
Please return all items back to the Prop Shop when you are done having fun.

Post it, share it, hashtag it!

Old School Pinball

February 25, 2017 - May 7, 2017

Photo Credit: James Prinz

Photo Credit: James Prinz

Created as part of the exhibition, Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago at Elmhurst Art Museum.

An art collaboration. 
Design, construction and mechanics by Alfonso Castellanos
Concept and artwork by Donna Castellanos

We invite you to play on this handmade pinball machine. Arrange the blocks, pegs and rubber bands to customize your game. But please be gentle on the flippers!

Welcome Home, 3-D Coloring Book

December 9, 2016-February 12, 2017

A community art project designed to represent my own childhood bedroom. Visitors are invited to color using colored pencils on any object in the living room scene.  All furniture and objects were collected from thrift stores, garage sales and donations. Exhibited as part of the Sense of Place exhibition at Elmhurst Art Museum. 

Little Blow Peep & Her Sheep

September 9- November 27, 2016

A community art project built from paper mache of old dictionary pages and construction fencing. Visitors were invited to inflate a surgical glove and add to Little Blow Peep or Her Sheep. Over the course of the exhibition Peep's dress and her sheep grew and inflated along with the exhibition. 

In combination with the exhibition, Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art, an exhibition featuring contemporary, large scale inflatable art objects. 

Paint by Number

May 21-August 28, 2016  

A community project created using window cling paint dots. Visitors were invited to choose from colored pallets of paint dots and apply dots to the corresponding number on the large scale paint by number image on the windows of the museum. Visitors were also invited to create their own window-cling artwork to take home using the pre-made dots. 

In combination with the exhibition, New American Paintings: Midwest Edition at Elmhurst Art Museum. 

In the CLOUD

March 5-May 27, 2016

Visitors were invited to share their thoughts, dreams, feelings, and inspirations. Draw, doodle and design a small plaster cube and store their own creations in the "Cloud".

In combination with the exhibition, David Wallace Haskins: Presence at Elmhurst Art Museum

Poet-tree Forest

December 12, 2015 -February 21, 2016

Created using salvaged encyclopedias, dictionaries and books. Visitors were invited to create and participate in a winter wonderland of words and positive thoughts.
Search for words in the dictionary that are special, inspiring or brought a smile, punch them out and paste onto the snowy word blizzard. Visitors could also create their own poems using cut out words, phrases, pictures, or write their own. Paste them on a cardboard “branch” then hang on the tree.

A community art project in combination with the exhibition, Biennial: Chicago Statements at Elmhurst Art Museum.