Raleigh-based artists Jeremy Maronpot and Living Arts College graduate Roger Flake were
on campus last week sharing their unique business, Mystery Build, which is based on the idea
that having limited resources does not limit possibilities. Those limited resources will give you
Roger says they came up with the idea for Mystery Build while working on a stop motion
animation project. “Stop motion animation is a very tedious process. You really have a lot of
time to talk about what else you could be doing. We were listening to a story on NPR about
American ingenuity and the ability to create something from nothing, and we had just received
a kit in the mail for a puppet armature. It was just a box of hundreds of loose parts. We
thought ‘You could make anything out of this.’”
That conversation evolved into the concept for Mystery Build, an art contest with a unique
twist. Participants purchase a Mystery Build Kit that contains a variety of sculpting media –
clay, wood, wire, soap, etc. – then create a work of art using only the materials provided in the
Kit. Jeremy and Roger launched the inaugural Mystery Build challenge in May of 2011, which
required that the resulting creation be based on a song.
Mystery Build is dedicated to encouraging creativity. Too often, when times get economically
challenging, art suffers. Many believe art is a luxury and nonessential. Jeremy and Roger
believe the exact opposite. That is why they created the Mystery Build Challenge and why they
are giving away $10K.
Both Roger and Jeremy say that Mystery Build is about creative thinking and artistic
exploration…the prize money is just a perk.
The students of Living Arts College had the opportunity to win three kits just by playing a
few games. At the start of the presentation Jeremy and Roger gave out a quiz and the first
to complete would win a Mystery Build kit. About ten minutes into the presentation, front row
participant Owen Hutchings, a film student, began the quiz and before you knew it he had folded
it into a paper airplane and flew it across the stage. Roger yelled out we have a winner! If you
followed the directions all the way through the quiz you would know to make your quiz into a
Another opportunity to win a kit was to be the first to name the 2011 Mystery Build Winner.
Quentin Stewart, an Interactive Media Arts student was the first to answer the question
The last opportunity to win a kit was to be the first to name the mystery celebrity behind the
disappearing virtual blocks. The blocks began to disappear one by one revealing just a bit of the
puzzle. As the blocks disappeared gradually over the mystery celebrity’s face, Ashley Amrhein
guessed the celebrity to be Christopher Walken, and as all the blocks disappeared Ashley’s
guess was revealed correct.
The Living Arts College students still have the opportunity to purchase their very own Mystery
Build kits at a 30% discount, making the kit only $35. To find out more on how to purchase a
Mystery Build kit please visit www.mysterybuild.com.