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Puppet Purple Rain

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Prince in felt, by Trisha Lavoie.

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Apollonia fooled by Prince’s silver tongue.

For the second installment of Puppet-A-Go-Go’s In The Park residency, Trisha Lavoie realizes a 80s pop culture milestone in felt and embroidery. Her Purple Rain diorama features puppets of Prince and Apollonia in a famous scene from the film.

“Purify Yourself in the Waters of Lake Minnetonka.”

Puppet-A-Go-Go In the Park features four one-month installations by Clelia Scala, Trisha Lavoie, Christine Cosby (with Rob Elliott), and Alexa Fraser. It is on display 24 hours a day in the front window of the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Puppet-A-Go-Go In The Park runs until January 31, 2017.

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Purple Rain, in the Niagara Artist Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery.

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Science Fiction B-Movie

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The puppet audience is awestruck by Clelia Scala’s B-Movie scene!

Puppet-A-Go-Go’s Clelia Scala was first up for the In The Park residency at the Niagara Artists Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery. Her papier-mâché scenario of monsters and scientists comes right out of the late show!

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Pleading with the monster to put down its victim. Clelia Scala’s installation at NAC’s Plate Glass Gallery.

Standing almost three feet tall, the bug-eyed monster carries his victim while a pair of concerned (and maybe culpable) citizens beseech it to stop being so horrible.

Clelia’s scene also featured the debut of the Puppet-A-Go-Go audience, over 40 puppets built especially for the project by Scala, Christine Cosby, Trisha Lavoie and Alexa Fraser. These puppets are seated on risers and will watch four different scenarios over the coming months.

Puppet-A-Go-Go In The Park runs until January 31, 2017.

 

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Puppet-A-Go-Go in the Park

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Some of the audience attending Puppet-A-Go-Go In The Park.

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Something up their sleeves! Puppet-A-Go-Go (clockwise from left): Clelia Scala, Trisha Lavoie, Alexa Fraser, Christine Cosby

Puppet-A-Go-Go’s current exhibit mimics the summer outdoor theatre festival experience, showcasing a series of four “static performances” on a stage for an audience of enthralled puppets. The public is invited to peek into this world of puppets anytime night or day, through the windows of Niagara Artist Centre‘s Plate Glass Gallery.

The outdoor theatre puppet diorama is on exhibit from September 23, 2016 through January 28, 2017 for viewing anytime. The exhibit features puppets created by the Puppet A Go Go artist collective: Christine Cosby, Alexa Fraser, Trisha Lavoie and Clelia Scala and special guest artists. Viewers will be inspired to re-visit the window diorama and use their imagination to interpret the “static performances” that will be presented over the four month “festival.” Special puppet celebrity appearances are included in the festival line-up, and the audience is a wild assortment of colourful characters.

Niagara Artist Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery is located at 354 St Paul St, St. Catharines, Ontario and can be viewed from the sidewalk any time on any day. Show runs September 23, 2016 through January 28, 2017.

Thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for supporting Puppet-A-Go-Go in the Park!

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Where we go for inspiration—smaller museums

By Trisha

While I often get inspiration for puppets from various kinds of media in all of its consumable formats be they virtual or tactile, I like to try and draw also from exhibited sources, sometimes the more unconventional or lesser recognized the better.

Awhile back I conscripted a pal to go suss out the Hamilton Toy Museum (not to be confused with the Hamilton Children’s Museum). Located in a storefront just east of Ottawa street, the museum contains a broad scope of toys and games from various decades and has the distinction of being an interactive museum—which is to say that if you love playing with Lego you should probably go check it out. Conceptually, I think the idea is great and but perhaps right now they are hampered by their lack of space as the “exhibition” portion is rather cramped by virtue of the necessary allotment of space given to play tables. Still a lot of great eye candy and even a few puppets tucked into the mix.

After our time there, I coerced my companion into going to the very first Tim Horton’s, located nearby on Ottawa street. The inaugural first iconic Canadian doughnut shop recently got a rebuild and houses the Timmies museum up on the second floor. A pretty campy and charming tour through the decades of the franchise, the museum features different staff uniforms, memorabilia from various decades, a staged counter of an older Tim’s (basically the kind of presentation I remember from being a kid—remember when they sold pies?) and incidental time markers such as popular album covers of the decade. Needless to say, it was great place to find all manner of Timmie’s merch of their seemingly now abandoned mascot that I intended to give the finger puppet treatment to, Mr T Timbit.