This morning the Nashville Public Library held a parade filled with puppets! As they meandered along the path from Legislative Plaza to the front doors of Nashville's beautiful downtown library crowds of children and adults were transported to the cultures of puppeteers around the world.
Following the parade were photo ops, shows and workshops as the creative artists of Nashville shared their craft.
I found myself mesmerized with the movements, artistry, detail and whimsy of the parade. From a towering Maya Angelou from the students and faculty of University School of Nashville to a brilliant collection of hand puppets by Sailors & Maidens I couldn't make up my mind where to look at any given moment.
The parade ended less than an hour from the time it began and I couldn't help but walk up to any puppeteer I could find to thank them for their gift and congratulate them on the beautiful work they had done. Some were operators only and others were the artists of these creations from concept to execution.
I even got a brief peak at character I've known about for years moving amongst the crowds nearly unnoticed as the parade end on. Rick Prince (Filmmaker, Professional Special FX artist, contestant on SyFy network's Face Off and all around creative genius trekked through the parade as a Transformer!
Yes! You read that correctly. A Transformer. Prowl, an Autobot Police Cruiser in full robotic form.
Of all of these amazing creations I was most captivated by this one. I believe it to be a Samurai and it's movement and style were something I'd not imagined. As I made my way toward the operator (drenched with the sweat and fatigued by the heft of such a figure) I overheard a gentleman say he had created the figure this operator was working. I was struck with the joy an artist must feel when their creations are brought to life by another.
I interjected to make sure I had heard correctly and sure enough, Leon Fuller of Artistree (creative group who designed and built the figure) was meeting Richard Link of Nashville Ballet (operator of the figure) for the first time.
Nashville is rich with the creative works of so many wonderful minds and today many puppeteers and puppet makers were able to inspire and excite a great number of people. Thanks to the work of so many and the organization of our public library this filmmaker and business owner was taken back to his child-like way of playing and creating in a world of imagination and fun.