Malia Araki Burkhart is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and healing arts practitioner. She has been teaching puppetry and mask-making in K-12 schools since 1999. Malia was an Associate Artist with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater from 1999-2009, and continues work with them on a contract basis. She has a BA from St. Olaf College in "Arts as Community Activism" and Studio Arts. Malia is excited to work with your school! She exceeds at custom-designed residencies, and adjusting the project to fit your curriculum needs. Puppetry and Masks an excellent way for all students to engage--- they can design, sculpt, paint their own creature, then write, rehearse, and perform a story using the creatures they made. Projects are created from ordinary materials such as newspaper, cardboard, and paper-mache. Creative recycled use of everyday objects encourages students' imaginations, and introduces the idea of making art out of anything!
Born and raised in Bloomington, MN, visual arts has always been a part of Malia’s life. Her work ranges from theater set designs and props to mask making and performances. She also works with lantern and hand puppets.
In residencies, students are given freedom to explore their own artistic process and make their own decisions. In a one-week residency, there are two general phases: puppet making and puppet movement, culminating in a short presentation or mini-parade. Two-week residencies enable students to explore more complex puppet-making techniques, develop their story-writing skills, create musical accompaniment, work on set design, and present a fabulous puppet show!
Examples of puppetry residencies include: Giant Puppets ~ teams make larger-than-life characters, Rod Puppets or Hand Puppets ~ either fit over the hand like a glove, or are operated by sticks held from below, Cranky Shows ~ A “cranky-show” is a scrolling painting that is turned by two cranks—kind of like a "low-tech TV", Masks ~ Students create a paper-mâché mask using found objects or by sculpting a clay base and Shadow Puppets ~ Puppets are cut from thick paper with thin rods to control their dance across a back-lit screen.