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WPU Hosts World Renowned Puppet Designer Andrew Kim


William Penn University students and faculty, as well as local Oskaloosa artists, had the unique opportunity to work with world renowned kinetic sculptor, puppet designer, and performance artist Andrew Kim. Mr. Kim, from Thingumajig Theatre in West Yorkshire, England, led an immersive two-week workshop on campus in September.

According to Brant Bollman, Director of Theatre at William Penn University, “We created two giant lantern puppets – a life-size mammoth, fondly named “Big Wooly” and the “Oskaloosa Muse,” she represents a spirit of creativity in our community.” All aspects of design, from initial sketching, to sculpting, papier-mâché techniques, rigging, and soldering in the LED lighting system were done on campus with Andrew’s guidance.

“Andrew Kim is the foremost creator of Lighted Puppetry in the world, it was an honor and privilege to have him here. We will use these puppets in the Lighted Christmas Parade and take what we learned and apply it to the bills we are doing for our spring play. We will be putting on ‘The Last Firefly’ in April at the George Daily Auditorium,” Brant Bollman shared.

Hosting talented artists such as Andrew Kim and creating an environment in which our students, faculty, and community members can work together in a hands-on setting is at the core of WPU’s mission. The diverse ideas and lessons learned from bringing guests to Oskaloosa from all over the world is a great benefit to the campus and local community. This project is made possible by an Artist Project Grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and support from Mahaska Drug.

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