Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Step Into a “Small Town”

We’re thrilled to have an incredible new exhibit in the Museum’s atrium walkway window boxes: I Live in a Small Town, created by local artist Megan Jeffery. In 17 playful scenes, the exhibit gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of the town’s inhabitants – a total of 36 handcrafted finger puppet residents and hundreds of intricately detailed miniatures.

Megan, a RISD alumna, has been a children's illustrator for over 20 years, specializing in educational material. When asked to describe the exhibit, she said:
“The BIG idea is…little! Ever since I was a kid, I've collected and made miniatures, and even had a “town” (called “Beetlegrass,” which is now the name of my blog) that lived on top of my dresser. This exhibit features my finger puppet characters that I make by hand using wool roving, fabrics, and other materials. Also on display are the miniatures that I make and that I've collected over the years – some I've had since childhood!”
Each of the scenes is infused with Megan’s own brand of humor. You’re not going to believe your eyes when you see the array of goodies guarded by the butcher and baker in their shops; the musically inclined cow and sheep playing their instruments; decked out disco robots; crabs constructing an elaborate sand castle; and the gathering of G.I. gnomes. And the details! From diminutive dog bones at a festive canine celebration to a tank of tiny fish in the “Nature Nook” to the construction workers’ picture perfect roadway scene, there’s so much to discover.

All of the puppets have a distinct look and personality. From Megan’s blog:
“It's this aspect of making characters that I just love: I start off with a basic idea of how they'll look, but then the puppet starts "telling" me about who he/she is, and he wants to wear, etc. It's this balance of planning ahead AND allowing room for being spontaneous that to me is PLAY.”
We couldn’t have said it any better. We know that kids and adults will LOVE this exhibit, which is on display for the next 4 months.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Megan’s fascinating and amazingly detailed process in a series of posts on her blog. Here’s a selection:

Thanks to Megan for sharing her work with us again; click here to learn about her previous puppet exhibit at the Museum. Also check out 9 to 5, our newest marionette display.

And leave a comment to let us know which is your favorite finger puppet scene!


Carly said...

The Little Parisian Picnic with the mime and French bulldog, complete with mini-brie is one of my favorites. When Megan was first sharing her plans with PCM she mentioned this scene and I asked if there might be ants invading this picnic. She humored me and made her own tiny ants with almost-impossibly-tiny red berets on their heads!

Merideth said...

I can't wait to come see this one!