This happened….

My daughter and I were both fairly excited.

My daughter and I were both fairly excited.

A really nice thing happened to me last weekend. I won the 2019 Established Artist Award for the City of St Catharines. It was a surprise, for many reasons, but especially because my competition was fierce! The other nominees are all brilliant and accomplished artists, and my money was on one of them. As a result, I didn’t plan what to say, so standing in front of a theatre full of people, I winged it. I think/hope my gratitude and enthusiasm came through. St Catharines, you are an inspiring city, filled with opportunities for artists. Thank you.

And a big thanks to the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) for the nomination!

Pity the Ostrich

The Woodstock Art Gallery’s opening for the Enormous Elsewhere’s (me and Alexa Fraser) installation was on February 16th. We had a lot people come through - friends, family, and people who we met that day. In its first incarnation, Eating Animals told a darkly funny story about a dinner party in two acts. Now, in Woodstock, the story unfolds in a series of photographs and our central sculpture. One of the things that delighted me the most that day, was watching kids solving the mystery that is the centre of the installation. Eating Animals is at the Woodstock Art Gallery from February 16 to March 24, 2019.

Details at the City of Woodstock website.

It's My Party


Last week, I had a blast making masks with an awesome kid named Gabriel. It was for a segment on Venetian Carnevale for TVOKids “It’s My Party.” A perfect way to spend a bitter-cold winter day.

Gabriel and I made our half mask out of Worbla, a material I only just started playing around with in the fall, but have grown to love for its speed and versatility. It also makes super comfortable masks. We then painted it with acrylics and decorated it with trim and Gabriel was then party ready.

Eating Animals at the Woodstock Art Gallery

Eating Animals  by The Enormous Elsewhere first showed at  Xperimental Puppetry Theatre  (XPT) in Atlanta, Georgia. Puppet heads and hands by Clelia Scala. Puppet bodies and costumes by Alexa Fraser. Photo courtesy of XPT.

Eating Animals by The Enormous Elsewhere first showed at Xperimental Puppetry Theatre (XPT) in Atlanta, Georgia. Puppet heads and hands by Clelia Scala. Puppet bodies and costumes by Alexa Fraser. Photo courtesy of XPT.

Eating Animals, an installation by the Enormous Elsewhere (me and Alexa Fraser), is going to be in the Woodstock Art Gallery February 16-March 24, 2019. Eating Animals is a darkly humorous puppet story that playfully explores what - and who - we consume. The opening reception is on Saturday, February 16 at 2pm.

Details at the City of Woodstock website.

That was fun. A 25-foot whale and other delights.

Port Hope is a lovely little town and home to one of the most industrious arts collectives I’ve ever met. Critical Art Mass has many innovative and interesting projects on the go. One of them was to update the town’s lantern walk and animate it with puppets and masks and glowing lanterns. They commissioned me to design parade pieces and head to Port Hope for six days of workshops to teach participants how to make the pieces. It was a really fun time - I met fantastic and creative people. Thank you Debbie Beattie for bringing me onto this project!

One of the people I met is the remarkable artist Dian Carlo. For my initial presentation I told the team we’d be making an 8-foot whale puppet. Later Dian approached me, telling me he’d like to work on that puppet, but he thought it would be great if it was bigger. The whale ended up 25-feet long. It was spectacular.

Aristophanes' Birds

This fall, I taught a mask design and mask making course at Queen’s University for the Dan School of Drama & Music. It was great. The students made the masks for the department’s production of Aristophanes’ Birds. The new version was written by Jennifer Wise and directed by Craig Walker. The students were enthusiastic and hard working and willing to put in the time it takes to make great, comfortable masks. In total, the students made 16 masks, and I made 2 masks, 2 headdresses, and 2 puppets. Here are few photos of the process and of some of the final masks (I should have taken more photos!).

MiR @ the BPL

It’s been a pretty great year work-wise, and one of the highlights was being the Maker-in-Residence at the Burlington Public Library this summer. I got to spend my summer working with amazing equipment and working on a project that I’ve been thinking about for some time. The maker space at the BPL is a unique space and it’s staffed by generous, knowledgeable makers - in fact, everyone at that library seems to be a maker. Every person I met seemed to be passionate about sewing or 3D printing or weaving or laser cutting or woodcarving, and so on. It was impressive and inspiring.

Supremely talented photographer and journalist Nikki Wesley made a lovely video about the project, which you can watch here.

Maker Clel