File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 86

Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 19:31:34 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] New Associate

Hi, Critters.  Amid all the news of friends safe from the storm and 
other friends passing, this may seem trivial.  Since, however, some 
critters had made queries, and it is big news to us, I pass it along.


Sculptor Josephine Durkin, of Leesburg, Virginia, has emerged from a 
nationwide search as the newest Associate of the Puppet Co. 
Playhouse, in Glen Echo Park, Maryland.  Chosen from a field of 25 
candidates, Durkin works extensively in kinetic sculpture, and has a 
background in music and theater performance, making her an ideal fit 
in an art form that inherently combines the multiple disciplines, 
according to company president Allan Stevens.

The Associate role is the first new position on the artistic/
management track the company has offered in 18 years.  It was 
established to bring new blood and new directions to an organization 
with a history of challenging the public=92s concepts of the art of 
puppetry.  Start-up funding of the position was made possible through =20
grants from the Carl M. Freeman Foundation and the Partnership for 
Arts, Humanities, and Recreation.

Durkin recently received her MFA from Yale, and studied both art and 
music at the Corcoran School of Art, the Lorenzo de Medici School in 
Florence, Italy and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she 
received her BFA in sculpture. Durkin's work has been exhibited in 
over thirty shows, both nationally and internationally.  As a child, 
Durkin regularly visited Glen Echo Park where she made her first 
puppet, took art classes and attended performances. "I remember how 
captivating and magical the shows were,=94 Durkin muses, =93and how they 
made me see the potential for animating even the most precious and 
fragile in life."

Durkin has always taken a keen interest in animating the inanimate.  
While attending VCU and Yale, she developed strong ties with the 
engineering departments, where she took mechanical and 
electromechanical systems courses.  Her interest in performance and 
engineering has driven her to create room-sized kinetic 
installations, whimsical walls of paper birds in flight, masking tape =20
loops manipulated by undulating pins, and marionettes dancing on stage.

The Puppet Co., incorporated in 1983, is a non-profit organization 
that creates puppet theater, especially for children, as an art form 
synthesizing the visual and performing arts.    It manages, teaches 
and creates productions for the Puppet Co. Playhouse, a 6400 s. f. 
center for puppetry.  The latest (and third) incarnation of the 
Playhouse opened in February 2004, and is the first in the United 
States to be designed and built from the ground up specifically for 
the art of puppetry.  President Allan Stevens stated, =93The new 
Playhouse is a laboratory for innovative approaches to an ancient art =20
form.  We hope to pass the torch to a new generation of puppet 
masters, and continue to surprise and delight our audiences, young 
and old.=94

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