Amy Toscan + Carolina Borja.  

A Whack-a-Mole time based project created for ArtPrize 7

Constructing on deconstructing explores the relationship between two cultures compressing into one uni-pop-culture. Large Mexican hand crafted piñatas will hang from the ceiling of the 9,000 squared feet inside a prominent venue during ArtPrize®. Pulling from the traditional 7-point piñata of Mexico to the popular figurative characters throughout the countrythis installation is a hybrid of the historical and contemporary piñata . The audience is encouraged to take part in the art making process by actively breaking them and releasing the inner contents.


Amy Toscani and myself have had an ongoing discussion about creating, destroying and art making. Excited to be collaborating and uniting their passion for craft, identity and urge for experimentation at ArtPrize. This project is made possible thanks to the ArtPrize Pitch Night Minneapolis sponsored by the Walker Art Center. We pitched live as one of th 5 finalists and got awarded $5,000 to create, install and exhibit in Grand Rapids MI.

The history of Piñatas in Mexico

Piñatas were introduced in Mexico by the Spanish who used them as an allegory to help them in their efforts to evangelize the native people of the region and converted them to Catholicism. The original piñata was shaped like a star with seven points. The points represented the seven deadly sins. The blindfold represents faith and the stick is virtue or the will which overcomes sin. Rewards would come from heaven if triumphant. 


Over 100 large hand made piñatas were created to hang from the ceiling of the 9000 sq. foot vacant building. Paper mache, cardboard, new techniques that break from the tradicional craft-paint, metallic paper and thread-, with unexpected surprises in the inside.


Integrating the public into the artwork was essential. Through timed breaking sessions the crowd was instructed - the same way that in a piñata breaking- to join the fun. By breaking the installation the public generated a 2nd installation on the floor. The debris dropped as a shadow creating a dialogue of the participation in the art piece.



Sara Montour

Rob Sacktya

The Music

Julia Sisson and Company

The Interns

Aaron Culey

Jonathan Herrera

Nancy Hicks


- The Art Assignment. PBS Digital Series

- Wood TV interview. Top 20 Critics Vote

- El informador. May 2016

- ArtPrize Blog. May 2015