Malia Burkhart | Visual Arts


Malia Burkhart | Visual Arts


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.

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Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs



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.