Ayrin Gharibpour: The Art of Puppetry at Center For The Arts Eagle Rock
By Sheli Silverio
We believe creativity is soul soothing at any time and we know the Center For The Arts Eagle Rock (CFAER) joins us in that sentiment. CFAER’s mission is to provide local, innovative, and accessible arts programming. They create innovative and multicultural art education opportunities through workshops, after school programming, and art camps. They produce contemporary quality exhibitions every year and showcase over 200 local, emerging, and established artists. Just as we have all had to do, CFAER has temporarily closed it’s physical doors in support of the social distancing efforts, but their virtual doors are open wide. Many of their creative cohort are producing online content in the form of tutorials for at home projects. In an effort to bring some of the magic of this extraordinary organization to you at home, we’ve talked with several artists who have worked and exhibited with CFAER. Today we’d like to share our interview with Ayrin Gharibpour!
Who are you? What do you do? I’m Ayrin Gharibpour, an Iranian artist born and raised in Tehran. I have a BFA in Graphic Design from the Art University of Tehran. I have worked as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and photographer for various studios and institutes including: Institute of Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, Iran Cultural Studies institute, Ney Davood Records, Aran Puppet Theater Group, Zeeen Craft Shop. My interest in theater, especially puppet theater art, stems from being born into a theatrical family. For the past six years I have primarily been working with children as well as working freelance. In addition to teaching, I have also created theater and puppet theater projects for children at schools and institutes in Tehran. I’m a music enthusiast: I sing, play the oud and the violin. Travel is a big part of my life and I’m fluent in Farsi, English and Italian. I’ve studied in Italy, the UK and the USA and love visiting new places and learning new things. My next project is to study animation.
How did you first become involved with or aware of CFAER? I have recently moved to Los Angeles and as soon as I got here one of my dear friends who is half American half Persian introduced me to the center. I started looking on their programs and the variety of events/classes going on there fascinated me.
What role has Center for the Arts Eagle Rock played in your life/art practice/career?Working at the center and knowing all the amazing artists who work here had a great impact in my artistic life. Being a part of Imagine Studio helped me know the children better and also the society and their needs for art.
How has CFAER influenced your personal and or professional art practice? I became a puppeteer at Bob Baker Marionette Theater due to introduction of my colleague at the Center for the arts.
What is one thing you have learned in working with CFAER that you think the general public might not know, but should? I think the project that public should know about the center for the arts is the Imagine Studio, bringing different kind of arts to the schools and teaching it is the most valuable thing.
Do you have a favorite story involving your time with CFAER that you’d like to share? I have so many good memories from the art of puppetry workshop which I started teaching 5 weeks ago, the creativity going on among the students, how they created their stories to puppet shows, the group works and the interesting usage of materials. The best story I can remember now goes back to one session when one of the students couldn’t participate so another student finished his work in a completely different direction and it became really good and creative.
Do you have any current or upcoming projects with CFAER? If so please tell us all about it. The next project I’m willing to do with the center is having an illustration workshop using different kind of materials. Unfortunately as we were going to plan this workshop the Covid-19 virus situation happened and stopped everything. To answer your question in your email about this unpleasant situation, I have started making puppet and craft making tutorials on my Instagram page (@ayrin.in.wonderland) I think this would be a great way for children and families to spend their time at home making new crafts and puppets together and also will bring joy into their houses in this difficult time.
Do you have any other current or upcoming personal projects that you’d like to share with us? I have started writing and planning for a puppet show that will be combination of stop motion and puppetry. It takes time to make it but I’m really hoping for it to happen soon.
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