Puppets and such

Today was the monthly Family Saturday program at the Carnegie Center for Visual and Performing Arts. As usual, kids and their accompanying grown-ups had a blast creating one-of-a-kind works of art surrounding the loose theme of puppetry. We made felt monsters, sock and paper bag hand puppets, shadow puppets and some simple marionettes based on a design by puppet maker/performer extraordinaire, Kevin Frisch.

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I became interested in puppetry when I made a marionette of Alberto Giacometti for an art history project in art school. After that project I decided to learn more about the legacy and craft behind the art of puppetry and joined the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild. Through the connection with this wonderful group of talented people I am learning more all the time about puppets, puppet making, and puppet performing. I even got a job with the local chapter of the Red Cross performing a tornado safety puppet show during the spring season.

Another perk of being part of the Puppetry Guild is the sharing of cool stuff with other people interested in the art of puppetry. My friend Lisa sent out a link to an interesting blog called 3 Quarks Daily. In this particular entry, the author shows a video of a giant puppet show put on in London by the French puppet theater company called the Royal de Luxe. It is enchanting. The Little Girl Giant is so tremendously alive, in a way that is difficult to describe, but this blog does a good job of it.

Whether a puppet is a simple sock character or a giant engineering marvel, the magic lies in the coming alive of something inanimate. This magic is what draws me to puppetry as an artist. I am thrilled that I got to share a little bit of the magic of puppetry with the families who visit Carnegie’s Family Saturday. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did!

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