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For sale: affordable house, duct tape trim

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunCarole Sesko, Eve Werner and Sara Zimmerman stand inside their "Truly Affordable Housing" art project they recently finished in Truckee on Thursday. They are hoping to address the need for more affordable housing in Truckee in their own way by building a sculpture out of election campaign posters and recycled materials.
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Who needs construction materials when there’s duct tape? Using red duct tape, recycled election campaign signs, and wooden stakes, three local artists are creating a way to address affordable housing in Truckee.

Truckee artists Carole Sesko, Sara Zimmerman, and Eve Werner came up with the idea for the housing sculpture when the aftermath of the November elections left hundreds of campaign signs staked all across town. And in an effort to promote recycling and affordable housing in the community, the group of artists, known as Party of 3, decided to construct a house using recycled materials.

Zimmerman said Party of 3 called a few of the candidates to see about getting campaign signs donated. Many candidates were happy to oblige.

Richard Anderson, Truckee vice mayor, donated his campaign signs to the group. He said the housing project is a wonderful way to reuse the campaign posters.

“They are very creative individuals,” Anderson said. “I am curious to see how it’s going to turn out.”

Built in stages, the 8-foot high structure is layered with corrugated plastic campaign posters, held together with bits of tape and screws. Wooden stakes criss-crossed across the structure’s walls give it some stability. Coming up with a design for the house was the toughest part, Sesko said.

“The shoddy construction is part of it,” Zimmerman said.

On the interior walls, dueling posters of John Doolittle and Charlie Brown is kind of an artistic twist, Zimmerman said. One homey touch, she said, are the plastic curtains fashioned from Proposition 89 “Stop the corruption” signs that decorate the window inside the house.

Party of 3 came up with a selling price of $999.99, Sesko said, “What do you think? Too cheap?”

The house is primarily just art, Sesko said, not a political statement. Party of 3 commends the efforts of those in the community who are working to address the shortage of affordable housing, she said.

“People can read into what they want,” Anderson said. “If it (house) gets them thinking, that is what’s important.”

The house will be displayed at Party of 3’s upcoming art exhibit, Collaboration, on Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Are there more artistic affordable housing units in the works?

“We could probably get a duplex going,” Zimmerman said with a laugh.


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