Clelia Scala is a mask and puppet designer, collage artist, and illustrator. She makes masks and puppets for theatre and teaches mask-making and puppet-making in classroom and workshop settings. She has made masks for private individuals, visual artists, performance artists, and clients such as Concordia University, Seneca College, Simon Fraser University, Queen's University, and the Toronto District School Board. She studied puppet construction and performance at the Humber Puppetry Intensive and at the New England Puppet Intensive and woodcarving and puppet design in the Workshop-in-Residence program at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Clelia is currently designing masks for Bonds of Interest (Odyssey Theatre) by Jacinto Benavente, translated by Catherine Boyle and directed by Laurie Steven. This spring, she is also making masks for the opera The Medium for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Clelia is designing puppets for The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito (Carousel Players) by Thomson Highway and directed by Monica Default.
Recent credits include: mask and puppet design and construction for Aristophanes’ Birds (Dan School of Drama & Music at Queen's University); puppeteering for 1991 (Guilty by Association, Toronto, Ontario, 2018); The Boat of Bones, a short stop-motion animation film for Xperimental Puppetry Theatre (Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Georgia); puppet and mask design and construction for Shotgun Wedding: Cirque Cabaret (Zacada Circus/Greg Fenwin Theatre, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 2017); mask and puppet design and construction for Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures (Carousel Players, St Catharines, Ontario, 2017); mask construction for Counting Sheep (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Recklinghausen, Germany, 2017 and Toronto and Edinburgh, 2016); puppet and set design and construction for Chester (Castlemoon Theatre, St Catharines, Ontario, 2015); costume design (with Alexa Fraser) for Antigonick (Guilty By Association/ Suitcase in Point, Toronto, 2014); concept creation and mask and costume design and construction for Unstrung: A Triphopera (STRUTT/ Niagara Artists Centre, St Catharines, Ontario, 2014); and mask construction for The Visit (Yale School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut, 2013).
Clelia was the maker-in-residence at the Burlington Public Library for the summer of 2018. Her installation, The Forest, is on display until January 2019.
Her series of masks, Metamorphosis, will be at the Bloor Gladstone Branch of the Toronto Public Library in April 2019. Eating Animals, an installation piece that Clelia co-created with Alexa Fraser, will be at the Woodstock Art Gallery in the winter of 2019.
Recent publications include a series of forty-two collages for the book Alice in Plunderland (BookThug, 2015) by Steve McCaffery and eleven collages for I Can Say Interpellation (BookThug, 2011) by Stephen Cain.
Her current personal projects include developing a puppetry piece about disordered eating and designing a series of futuristic masks tentatively titled, Pataphysical Masks: Faces for a Possible Future.
Clelia's masks are sold at Maskarade in New Orleans, Minotaur in Kingston, Ontario, and on Etsy. She is a founding member of Puppet-a-Go-Go and a co-creator, with Alexa Fraser, of The Enormous Elsewhere.
News, Features, and Reviews
“Maker in Residence Clelia Scala.” Feature in Halton Daily News, September 2018, by Nikki Wesley.
"'Anything Goes' with STRUTT's Evolution." Interview in Niagara This Week, November 2016, by Mike Zittell.
"Alice in Plunderland." Review in Matrix Magazine, June 2015, by Caitlin Stall-Paquet.
"Wonderland from a Wonderfan." Review in Books & _ _ _ _ _, 2015.
"Alice in Plunderland." Review in Nomadic Press, March 2015, by James Bonner.
"Journey to Plunderland." All Lit Up, March 2015, by Jay MillAr and Clelia Scala.
"Alice in Plunderland at NAC." Review in Moonbeams and Sunbeams: Aspects of NAC, March 2015, by Barbara Bucknall.
"On Illustrating, with Clelia Scala." Interviewed by Grace O'Connell for Open Book: Toronto, March 2015.
Alice in Plunderland featured in 49th Shelf's "Most Anticipated: 2015 Spring Fiction Preview." January 2015 by Kerry Clare.
"Photos of the week" in The Toronto Sun, November 2014.
"The Mask Maker." St Catharines Standard, November 2014, by Julie Jocsak.
Outstanding Design for Antigonik (costume) in NOW Magazine's "Best of the Fest," August 2014.
Masks featured in the LCBO's Food & Drink Magazine feature on STRUTT Wearable Art Show, summer 2014.
"I Can Say Interpellation." Review in Broken Pencil Magazine, February 2012, by Nico Mara-McKay.
"Snarky Poems for Leftie Parents." Review of I Can Say Interpellation on 4 Mothers, September 2011, by Nathalie Foy.
Honorable mention for "The Company of Wolves" for Face the Nation, a 2006 mask exhibit at the Design Museum of University of California Davis.
“Maker-in-Residence Clelia Scala.” Halton Daily News, September 2018, by Nikki Wesley.
”Meet the Maker: Clelia Scala.” Burlington Public Library, July 2018.
"The Mask Maker." St Catharines Standard, November 2014, by Julie Jocsak (also featured in The Sudbury Star, the Stratford Beacon Herald, the Stoney Plain Reporter, the Lacombe Globe, and the Brockville Recorder).
YouTube interview about mask making, with Jade Badesky, June 2013.