Last fall/winter I was commissioned by Nancy Rosen Inc. to make work to be installed within 7 wall niches in the newly built Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The idea was to make a family of creatures that would be reading and interacting with real children's books. The children's books included in each diorama serve as some of the inspiration for other artworks on each floor and throughout the hospital, over 500 works in total!
I got to visit the Children's Center in many stages, the first few times I had to wear a hard hat and flattering neon vest as it was still under construction. Then just a few weeks ago I got to attend a fancy pants luncheon and tour the finished building with my mom. It was so full of light and bright colors, giant sculptures, paintings, prints and photographs, a huge play room and a library. I just about cried. It hardly felt like a hospital at all.
I know soon the rooms will all be filled with patients and their families, many going through unimaginable hard times...but i hope my stuffed creatures and the amazing collection of children's book inspired work serves as a comfort and an escape for them. I have a feeling they are going to have to clean the glass covering the diorama's quite often...due to lots of little hand and nose prints!
Click HERE to see more images of the works I created, and HERE to see them installed, to give you a sense of their placement within the building!
After a bit of a hiatus, today I'm finally back in the Cotton Monster studio today and excited to get back to work!! I spent the last month and a half teaching two youth puppet residencies. One was with an after-school group at Patterson Park Library. We created a puppet version of the west African Tale Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears performed without dialogue as part of a festival of visual theater. And the other was at Southwest Baltimore Charter School, where the students made puppet shows about Lewis and Clark's journey across the US!
I was also basically living at the puppet theater, helping Black Cherry finish up a new marrionette production. I sewed a bunch of tiny puppet clothes and made some pretty cool moving cardboard props (click the link to see a little teaser video!)
photo by Kathey Fahey
I also managed to get strep throat the week of all these performances, which was exhausting to say the least! I took the entire day off on Sunday, for some mental and physical recovery. I slept in, took a nice lazy walk with my buddies and visited the American Visionary Art Museum's "All Things Round" exhibit, which is always an inspiration. Monday I spent the day thrifting for monster skins, running some long overdue errands, and doing three loads of laundry. Now I've got this giant pile of clean & folded sweatshirts and polos begging to be cut up!
Just have to make a quick run to the post to rid myself of my 2011 taxes and ship a big monster commission to Dublin, Ireland (oh how I wish I could mail myself there too!) and then its finally time to get down to business!!