'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist'

tvpartyw620.jpgThere is something so annoyingly indefinable about art that it makes us want to tear our hair out. How can a Picasso go for millions of dollars while the stuff we did in seventh-grade art class be so unconscionably undervalued? And now that we're hooked on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist airing Wednesdays on Bravo, it makes us shake our heads even more. Where are the soup cans covered in macaroni? Where are the hand outlines made up to look like turkeys? Even so, we applaud the contestants' efforts. It's not easy to create new art every week that matches host China Chow's living room couch. So if you love art - or feel the need to finger-paint - call your friends and neighbors; we're throwing a Work of Art party!

Setting the scene:
Artists' studios are some of the coolest places to hang out in on the planet. Where else can you spill paint on the floor and not get yelled at? So let's go for the studio look by gathering yards and yards of canvas dropcloths, easels, framed canvases in various sizes, palettes, paints, brushes and a whole lot of paint thinner. Make sure you've already created several paintings to display around the room in various stages of finish. Of course, art is more than painting, so in order to help your guests discover their medium of choice, also have sculpting supplies such as clay bars and scrapers, digital cameras and color printers, and ceramic paraphernalia such as clays and potter's wheels. If you're over budget and the ceramics studio is too much, bake gingerbread cookies in cupcake tins with another cupcake tin inside that to keep its shape and have guests "glaze" their "pots" with icing glaze mixed with food coloring. Invitations should be cut from a poster of Van Gogh's Starry Night with a request that guests bring the invitation so it can be re-created at the party.

Attire:
Smocks for everyone!

On the menu:
Get creative and turn the food into art. Re-create a favorite mosaic work of art with everything from Triscuits and tortillas to sliced bell peppers.

On the hi-fi:
Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole, Vincent by Don McLean, Painter Song by Norah Jones, Andy Warhol by David Bowie, Georgia O by the Nields, Pablo Picasso by John Cale.

The showstopper:
As huge fans of Christo and (the late) Jeanne-Claude, why not go to your nearest fabric store and buy as much orange fabric as possible and literally drape the entire outside of your house in it as a tribute to art? (Let us know if your neighbors agree.)