Other, Performing Arts, Visual Arts
MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)Prior to 2012
Artist StatementI have been exploring the impacts of industrialization and ecological devastation on our relationships with one another, to the places we inhabit and to the natural world. Mask and costume, procession and parade, puppetry and visual storytelling, fiber and textile traditions inform my work. My relationships to local communities and environments, and the metaphoric potential of materials are important to me. My performances propose the possibility of personal and societal transformation through labor, acts of devotion and popular education. Collaborating with and learning from other artists, community organizations and performance groups is vital to my work.
Valeska Maria Populoh works as an educator, cultural organizer, artist and performer in Baltimore. She teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art and is an affiliated artist with Black Cherry Puppet Theater. Valeska utilizes costume, mask and puppetry techniques to create performances and actions that respond to environmental and social concerns. An interest in acts of transformation, from materials to situations, informs her work. Valeska has performed at the International Toy Theater Festival in New York City as well as Streets Across America! organized by the Kennedy Center in 2012, Puppet Uprising in Philadelphia, the Puppeteers of America Festival and The Creative Alliance in Baltimore. She has been a curator and coordinator of the Transmodern Performance Festival and is the co-founder of the Puppet Slamwich! at Black Cherry Puppet Theater.