“From Thought to Image: 30 Years of Sandglass Theater,” November 14, 2015-April 10, 2016

This first-ever retrospective exhibition of work by the world-renowned Vermont-based puppet company co-directed by Eric Bass and Ines Zeller Bass features extraordinarily crafted puppets from ten different Sandglass productions dating from 1985 to the present. Including characters created by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Jana Zeller, Dave Regan, Finn Campman, Matt Brooks and Coni Richards, the exhibition will trace Sandglass Theater’s development from such dreamlike pieces as Invitations to Heaven (1990) and The Village Child (1992) to stories strongly rooted in the recognizable Vermont world, such as Never Been Anywhere (1997) and All Weather Ballads (2010); and the profound contemplations of modern life in shows based on The Little Prince (Between Sand and Stars, 2005) and the life of renowned philosopher Walter Benjamin (One Way Street, 2002). In all these productions, the persistent metaphorical nature of the puppets remains a constant and compelling element of the work. The exhibition will be on display through April 10, 2016.


“The Work That Follows: 50 Years of UConn Puppeteers,” July 11-November 1, 2015

From Hua Hua Zhang's "Who Are You?" Photograph by Bill Hebert.
From Hua Hua Zhang’s “Who Are You?” Photograph by Bill Hebert.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry  presents its new exhibition The Work That Follows: 50 Years of UConn Puppeteers at the Ballard Institute, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs, Connecticut.

For 50 years, puppeteers have passed through UConn’s unique Puppet Arts Program to study the skills and techniques of imagining, designing, building, and performing new works for puppetry. Though the basic skills of puppetry taught at UConn are perpetually consistent, the work that follows graduation is specific to the hands that created it. The Work That Follows, curated by Anna Fitzgerald (MFA ’14), highlights the work of Puppet Arts Program alumni, and how these puppet artists have incorporated their own distinctive perspective with skills learned at UConn. The exhibition features puppets and objects created for live performance, film, and video; as well as photographs and video documentation of performances. The exhibition will be on display through November 1, 2015.

“Reed + Light: Works by Anne Cubberly” and “Masters of the Marionette: Rufus and Margo Rose,” March 7-June 28, 2015

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present the grand opening of two new exhibitions: Reed + Light: Works by Anne Cubberly, and Masters of the Marionette: Rufus and Margo Rose, on Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m. at the Ballard Institute in Storrs Center.  The opening events will include a tour of Reed + Light by curator and artist Anne Cubberly and a demonstration of Rose marionettes by puppeteer Fred Thompson.

In Reed + Light, acclaimed Hartford visual artist and spectacle creator Anne Cubberly presents some of her trademark giant puppets and costumes representing the strong, the fragile, and the temporary. In this installation Cubberly shows how—with reed, paper, fabric, and repurposed materials—she works on life-size and giant scales to create the honesty of a sketch.

Guest curator Fred Thompson and UConn Art History student Hannah Kennedy present the work of Connecticut’s most famed puppeteers of the 20th century, Rufus and Margo Rose, in the new exhibition Masters of the Marionette. Spanning the decades between their early cross-country tours of the 1920s and the newer technologies of film and television, this exhibition traces the path of these pioneers of American puppetry.

Both exhibitions will be on display through June 28, 2015.

In conjunction with the opening celebration, both Anne Cubberly and Fred Thompson will participate in the Ballard Institute’s Spring Puppet Forum Series. On Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m., Cubberly will lead a presentation titled Making Art with Your Community, in which she will talk about her extensive work in the Hartford area, and its focus on creativity, process, community, and re-purposed materials. On Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m., celebrated puppeteer and teacher Fred Thompson will illuminate the Masters of the Marionette exhibition by describing his own work with puppeteers Rufus and Margo Rose. These events are free and open to the public.