Two North Texas-based artists worked for 10 hours a day with the franchise to create a new brilliant artwork display set to be unveiled at the American Airlines Center over the weekend. 

The custom exhibit reaches over eight feet and features 800 recycled Dallas Mavericks fan clappers weaved into the design. The clappers were collected during eight games back in November and December.

The unique art piece will displayed in Section 113 of the concourse for the final two home games.

“We are always trying to give things a second or third or fourth life,” said Marianne Newsom from The Color Condition. “So when the Mavs reached out to us with a project to honor their fans for Mavs Appreciation Week, we were thrilled to dive in and experiment with the loads and loads of fan clappers!”

Newsom and fellow artist Sunny Sliger are the creators behind the fan clapper project, a joint venture between the Mavs and Michaels Stores, Inc

A fan clapper is a secret weapon MFFLs receive on their seats before every game. 

The clacking sound of nearly 20,000 fans hitting a folded poster against their palm punctuates an electric thunder that pulsates through the arena. For three hours, the cardboard goes to work and is ignited by the thrill of fans.

After the game, many toss the clappers aside and leave it for staff to pick up or they throw the poster in the trash.

This year the Mavs and Michaels decided to ‘upcycle’ all that rubbish with an earth-conscience sustainability project for Earth Month.


The first phase of the project included finding the right clappers to work with (minus mustard and leftover beer), and then the artists went to work on creating something spectacular and unique. 

Newsom and Sliger are used to working with color and turning fabric scraps into pizazz, but making art out of fan clappers presented a whole new ball game (no pun intended). Still, they were up for the challenge even after staring at Luka Dončić’s face for hundreds of hours. 

The artists say they thrive on color, movement and patterns, and they are ecstatic to show off the final product. 

“[The clappers] were very specific with the shape and the folds,” Newsom said. “We predominantly work with fabrics, and this gave us the fun challenge of working with more rigid material and figuring out how to incorporate it with soft fabric.”

Every fan clapper tells a story, and Newsom said that was the best part.

She explained how they cut out specific images and pieces to then weave into the artwork. They were especially fond of the tattered and worn pieces, so all you loud clappers, well — rejoice — because your cardboard likely made the final cut. 

“There was a loveliness of the well-worn ones that were held by the more passionate fans,” Newsom said. “We appreciate things that are well worn and well-loved.”

We won’t ruin the surprises ahead of time, but one interesting tidbit is that the display is tall enough for Boban Marjanović to reach the top.

Newsom said they used an eight-foot ladder to put the finishing touches up high, and they anointed the artwork with No. 51 at the very top of the backdrop. 

“After looking at the players’ faces repeatedly, you feel like you know these players so well,” Newsom said. 

They described the weaving process as similar to “knitting a sweater.” 

The fan clapper display will be unveiled this weekend during the final two regular-season home games on April 8 and 10 to coincide with Earth Month. 

Earth Month takes place each year in April and encourages people to act boldly, innovate broadly and implement equitably to create a better partnership for the planet because “a green future is a prosperous future.” 

Michaels Stores, Inc., more commonly known as Michaels, is the perfect partner for the Mavs to team up with for this project.

The company was founded in Dallas and is one of North America’s largest providers of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor, and merchandise for makers and do-it-yourself home decorators.

The Mavericks host Portland Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center. Sunday the Mavs are slated for an 8:30 p.m. contest against San Antonio for the final regular season game. The first round of the playoffs will get underway one week later on April 16 or 17.

Featured below are pictures of Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger at work during various stages of the project.


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