In March, 2006, Arts!, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s newspaper ran a story on Art In Motion, an exhibition in which I was showing an installation from Growing Up Linda.

Handmade Handheld Sculpture:
GAC Displays ‘Art In Motion’

Moveable artworks of all sorts of configurations and sizes and character types will be on display at the Guilford Arts Center for Art in Motion: Invitational Exhibition of Puppets, which will take place at the Center’s Mill Gallery from March 17 to April 30, 2006. The exhibition showcases works created by puppeteers from across New England working within the five major puppet styles: shadow, rod, hand, mask or string (marionette).

Makers of puppets are artists of wide-ranging skills. Their intricate, handmade sculptural works must also function practically in performance. Conception and final forms of puppets are inseparable from their use in performance, yet these works are often beautiful and intriguing sculptural objects in themselves. Such artistry will be on display in the variety of works included in Art in Motion, since puppets have been chosen for their strong visual appeal as well as construction techniques. Most works on view have been completed within the past ten years.

“It’s fitting that Guilford Art Center hoist this exhibition, since Connecticut has a strong tradition of supporting the puppetry arts,” says Julienne Richardson, the Center’s Shop & Gallery Manager. The state boasts the only museum of puppetry arts in the nation, The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (BIMP), located at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. UCONN also has a highly-regarded and highly selective Puppet Arts Program, the only one in the nation offering advanced degrees. New England is a puppetry hotbed, since a great many puppeteers live in the orbit of the influential UConn program, and because cities like New York, Boston, and Providence support a lively and diverse performing arts culture. Additionally, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in New London hosts the O’Neill Puppetry Conference (sponsored by the Rose Endowment for Puppetry established by Jane Henson), and is considered to be the best venue in which to collaborate, experiment, explore and develop your ideas and talents relating to puppet theater.

Arts! is the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s newspaper.