April 20, 2006


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No Pinocchio here
Puppets bring Mexico to life

By Hannah Onoroski news@hippopress.com

Not too many people see puppetry as their life’s calling.

These performances drawing on theater, artistry and factual stories, have long been viewed as children’s entertainment. However, in keeping with this age-old amusement, the Currier in Manchester is offering a free series of puppet shows.

Led by puppeteer John Patrick Picciano, the shows will focus heavily on Mexican rural life. On Wednesday, April 26, Picciano will perform “El Trato,” a tale about a poor woodcutter and the stranger that changes his life. “El Trato” literally translates to “The Deal.” The performance features authentic costumes, tools and folk art, especially that of rural Mexican life. It is recommended for kids ages 7 and up.

Picciano is an accomplished artist as well, having had his masks featured in museums around the country. He is especially fond of Latin American art and culture, and since 1988 has brought dozens of traditional folk artists to America in order to visit schools and museums, all as part of his visiting artist program. Individuals from as far away as Mexico and Peru have taken part in his program.

The puppet shows are planned in conjunction with the Currier’s “Voces y Visiones: Highlights from El Museo del Barrio,” an exhibit celebrating the art of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino culture. The exhibit began in early March and continues through June 26. As always, admission is free to those under 18, and free to all on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to the puppet shows is free. In addition to the puppet performances, the Currier will allow free admission to all during the week of April vacation, April 22 to 30.

The Currier is located at 201 Myrtle Way. Hours during school vacation are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays. For more information on the “Voces y Visiones” exhibit, as well as puppetry performances, visit the Currier at www.currier.org.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

Get some culture
Weekly programs offered in conjunction with the current exhibitions include the ArtBreak Series, running Wednesdays, noon – 1 p.m., at the Paul Creative Arts Center (PCAC).

April 26:  Gallery Talk by Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Thomas C. Call, Sofie H. Larsen, Kathryn Niboli, Toby M. Schreier, and Rebecca Simpson. The Art Gallery

May 3: Gallery Talk: by exhibiting M.F.A. candidates Justin Augspurg and Julie Lucca. The Art Gallery

May 10: Gallery Talk: by exhibiting M.F.A. candidates Andrea Hagy and Eun-Shin Kim. The Art Gallery

The exhibitions and programs are supported in part by the Friends of The Art Gallery. Guided group tours for schools and other organizations are available with advance reservation by contacting Catherine Wright, education and publicity coordinator, at 603-862-3713 or  catherine.wright@unh.edu. For more information on the exhibitions and programs, contact The Art Gallery at 603-862-3712, art.gallery@unh.edu, or visit www.unh.edu/art-gallery.

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