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Puppet Show

July 9 - August 31, 2022

Local artists engage with a familiar visual language using puppet and doll imagery. Some are literal figurines or employ them, while others borrow their features. Puppets are one of the oldest mechanisms to blend the real world and the imaginary.centralRanging from 1973-2022, the works in this exhibition provide a contemporary view of the medium for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

Kemlyn Brazda

Instagram: #KemlynBrazda

Cut Loose, 2022

Acrylic on canvas


Kemlyn Braza is a retiree who now devotes time to painting and dr wing. The artist also manages her garden and finds inspiration in the natural world. Cut Loose is part of the series Bugzilla in which Brazda paints oversized insects. Brazda uses pastels and watercolor for landscapes and flower paintings but opts for acrylic paint in Bugzilla to render the bugs’ glossy exteriors. Cut Loose deviates from the rest of the series by considering the grasshopper a puppet rather than a living creature. Brazda references a photograph of a katydid, a long-horned grasshopper, from her garden. The inclusion of strings and handles scales the katydid up, allowing viewers to imagine the bug in reference to a human hand. Brazda reanimates the puppet and restores its autonomy by depicting the strings as severed. The bright red and orange background accentuates the green in the katydid. Brazda encourages viewers to delight in the intersection between the natural and the imagined.

Lily Bulman


Victor Frankenstein, 2022

Cardboard, marker, butterfly tacks, wood dowels


Elizabeth Lavenza, 2022

Cardboard, marker, butterfly tacks, wood dowels


The Creature, 2022

Cardboard, marker, butterfly tacks, wood dowels


Lily Bulman studies theater at The College of Wooster and is a Meadville local. She engages primarily with theater production, including set, light, and sound design. The Creature derives from a high school project Bulman completed following the class reading of Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. The series consists of cardboard cut-outs illustrated with markers, hinged at their joints using butterfly tacks, and attached to wooden dowels. Bulman took a course in mask and puppet making at Wooster. Victor Frankenstein and Elizabeth Lavenza mark the completion of the series after Bulman decided to revisit the project more informed in the craft. The most recent puppets resemble popular culture depictions of the Frankenstein story, while The Creature interprets the literary description. Bulman cites her mother as motivation to continue developing her puppet-making skills, and the two even plan on taking classes together in the near future. The artist’s gallery debut supports her studies in theatrical set design and creation.

Anneliese Charles & Ayree Morrison-Metz

The Spinning Baddie 2000, 2022

Mixed-media installation


Anneliese Charles and Ayree Morrison-Metz, are siblings, best friends, and collaborators. Their installation work, The Spinning Baddie 2000, expands upon an existing hobby where they decapitate dolls and leave the heads around the house for their unsuspecting parents to fi d. The two commonly engage in such activities due to their shared interest in the fantastic . The central figure, endearingly named “Lydia,” systematically controls the other figures within the scene. Morrison-Metz includes Lydia in The Spinning Baddie 2000, though it was initially an independent work. Strings and necklaces signify Lydia’s domain, and the figures’ gruesome state demonstrates her malintent. Charles and Morrison-Metz consider the mechanisms harmful ideologies employ to retain power and identify their relationships to these forces through the strung-up dolls. The artists situate the scene on a wheel to assert abusive power structures as cyclical. The Spinning Baddie 2000 is an ongoing project and marks the debut of Charles and Morrison-Metz’s collaborative gallery exhibitions.

Jaden Estes Carlson

Instagram: @jadenestescarlson


Ceramic, underglaze, glaze



Ceramic, underglaze, glaze


Jaden Estes Carlson is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Edinboro University studying ceramics. Carlson’s practice communicates her experience growing up a woman in rural Nebraska, often by crafting seemingly functional objects decorated with bows, floral or gingham patterns, and illustrations of food to echo the domestic sphere. The artist grapples with simultaneous attachment to and alienation from home by producing a visual and tactile diary. LIFE IS SWEET and FREE FALLING diverge from Carlson’s other works by employing “human” figures. The generic doll imagery evokes feelings of vague familiarity and touches on themes of autonomy Carlson identifies herself through the dolls. The faces are childlike and incorporate Carlson’s younger self into her narrative. The vessels the dolls occupy are closed and, therefore, unable to serve as utilitarian objects. In LIFE IS SWEET, the figure rests on top aimlessly and takes up space, whereas the images in FREE FALLING are two-dimensional and cascading down. Both sculptures employ pastel hues and the artist’s signature ornamentation through constructed bows, ruffles, and flowers. Carlson presents a series of intimate and delicate self-portraits.