Clelia Scala is an artist whose work includes mask and puppet design, installations, collage, and illustration. 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.
Clelia has studied mask design with Sarah Sartori and Paola Piizi, puppet construction and performance at the Humber Puppetry Intensive with CLUNK Puppet Lab and the Puppetmongers, puppet construction and performance at the New England Puppet Intensive with David Lane, and woodcarving and puppet design in the Workshop-in-Residence program at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art with David Lane. She has taken puppetry workshops with the Puppetmongers in Toronto and a movement and experimental puppetry workshop with Alice Gottschalk at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
Recent theatre credits include mask and makeup design for Bonds of Interest by Jacinto Benavente and translated by Catherine Boyle (Odyssey Theatre, Ottawa, 2019); mask design for The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti (University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2019); puppet design for The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito by Thomson Highway (Carousel Players, St. Catharines, Ontario, 2019); mask and puppet design for Aristophanes’ Birds (Dan School of Drama & Music at Queen's University, 2018); 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, 2018); puppet and mask design for Shotgun Wedding: Cirque Cabaret (Zacada Circus/Greg Fenwin Theatre, Niagara Falls, 2017); mask and puppet design 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).
Clelia was the maker-in-residence at the Burlington Public Library in Burlington, Ontario, for the summer of 2018, during which she created an installation from books and other materials, The Forest. Her series of masks, Metamorphosis, was at the Bloor and Gladstone Branch of the Toronto Public Library in April 2019. Eating Animals, an installation piece that Clelia co-created with Alexa Fraser, was on display at the Woodstock Art Gallery in the spring of 2019.
Recent publications include a series of forty-two collages for the book Alice in Plunderland (BookThug, Toronto, 2015) by Steve McCaffery and eleven collages for I Can Say Interpellation (BookThug, Toronto, 2011) by Stephen Cain. Clelia is currently working on a series of collages for Steve McCaffery’s latest book, Alice Through the Working Class.
Her current personal projects include developing a puppetry piece about eating and designing a series of futuristic masks tentatively titled Pataphysical Masks: Faces for a Possible Future.
Clelia teaches theatre, mask and puppet design at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. 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.
”Making Professional Artists Accessible,” with the Calliope Collective on CKWS TV, 2017.
”Celebrating Local Talent,” Our Home with Mayor Sendzik on Cogeco, 2016.
"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.