Let’s Play!

Unlocking the portals of the imagination
Running until mid-September, the Fuller Craft Museum presents Playtime in the Making, a multimedia art installation that explores the vital role of free play in creative thinking. 
The inventive project was developed by the artist team of Tommy Simpson, Karen LaFleur, Marlow Shami, and Nancy Tucker, with guest artists Jim Fawcett and Randy Gilman. The collaborative came together to investigate the questions: What does play look like, and where does it reside within the creative process?
Their response—Playtime in the Making —takes a “the more you look, the more you see” approach, with fanciful elements that guide viewers through the four stages of the creative thinking process: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Visitors are invited to explore the installation from beginning to end, following the clues to make connections and unlock new portals to the imagination. From ladders that climb to colorful stars, to seafaring vessels, to fanciful creatures, the tableau sparks curiosity and promotes learning through discovery.
Playtime in the Making artists firmly believe that we are all creative beings. The artists involved in this very special exhibit work with numerous medium that encompass wood-carvings, digital paintings, photography and composing music.
Tommy Simpson’s artwork transcends craftsmanship, fine art, and whimsy. He is an “imaginist” who has worked in nearly every medium, including woodworking, painting, printmaking, clay, woodcarving, bookmaking, jewelry, and even prose. In each work of art, the artist puzzles together his personal and cultural references into a signature blend of joyfulness and subtle commentary. “The ultimate goal,” Tommy says, “is to bring the artwork to life, so that the viewer can identify the human spirit behind the work, and experience its poetry.”
Karen LaFleur creates narrative digital paintings. Her artwork consists of a multi-layered computer image embedded with a micro-story written by the artist. She combines verbal- visual expressions into an all-inclusive medium via the computer. 
Marlow Shami is a video/digital artist with an eye for sensory attractions based in nature and the human experience. Her process of making art is one of taking tiny-rich steps towards the art of looking closer. She listens, trusts, pauses, leaps, stops, and then looks again—each time collecting and composing the wonders of our world into an interconnected visual expression. There is an attention and care in her photographic encounters that highlight for the viewer the complexities of our environment and witness the richness of our unique human connection to the natural world. By compiling hundreds of images and videos into an expressive artwork, Shami weaves together the essence of her subject and builds with spellbinding agility a pathway for the viewer—to stop, pause, and wonder. 
Nancy Tucker is a fingerstyle guitarist with a flair for unusual and kinetic compositions using every part of the guitar. From instrumentals about tipsy grasshoppers to a lively musical interpretation of a recalcitrant washing machine, to a cacophony of insect sounds blended into a rhythmic symphony, she approaches the guitar as if it were a miniature playground,exploring every possible sound from the strings, body, pegs, raw wood, and even the strap. 
To learn more visit www.fullercraft.org.


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