Menu
Close

NETWORK MEMBERS FEATURE | AUGUST 2019

The beauty of Common Field is that it is an organization bound to no one region- with an active network in cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the U.S.

Common Field is excited to introduce our new Members Feature, aimed at building a stronger, more visible online presence for our Network that increase understanding, involvement and knowledge of artists organizations and their value. The Members feature highlights the incredible organizations and organizers within the expansive Common Field network.

Find out who they are, reach out to them, or just to say hello!


BOB BAKER MARIONETTE THEATER

Winona Bechtle, Director of Development and Community Engagement
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
Los Angeles, CA

Check out their Common Field profile here

My name is Winona Bechtle and I work as the Director of Development and Community Engagement at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater! The Theater celebrates the legacy of Los Angeles puppeteer Bob Baker, who together with his studio created thousands of puppets for film, tv, and performance at his downtown Los Angeles location since 1963. In 2018, the Theater announced a move to Highland Park following redevelopment of our historic location and together with an incredible team of puppeteers, builders, volunteers, and community members we have recently completed our move and begun our preview season in our new building which was historically a 1923 vaudeville theater on York Blvd.

My personal journey began with arts administration work for museums, galleries, and performance spaces across Los Angeles, but I have been attending Bob Baker marionette shows since I was 5 years old. The deep history at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in addition to the scores of passionate people who have helped to keep the organization going is what inspired me to devote my full-time work to the nonprofit transition of this one-of-a-kind place. Our daily activities include things like restorations of rarely seen Bob Baker shows, realizations of Bob's concept drawings in our new location, and puppet shows for kids of all ages (and yes we mean adults too)!

We strive to be the kind of place where both a 5 year old can have their first theatrical experience and where an adult can learn the ins and outs of sculpture and puppet fabrication.

Our membership with Common Field is an incredible resource where we can reflect on our place in the arts and historical resource network of Los Angeles and beyond, and take time to stop and pause and think about our impact outside of the field of puppetry and performance. We are honored to take the ancient art form of puppetry, and the incredible legacy of Bob Baker, into the 21st century for generations of Angelenos to enjoy and learn from.


ARTSUP! CONCEPTS

(Photo credit: Valerie Perez)

Neil Ramsay, Creative Economist
ArtsUP! Concepts
Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Check out their Common Field profile here

ArtsUP! is metaphor, a discourse and place. Exhibiting ideas of local, national and international contemporary artists. Its creator Neil has a multidisciplinary professional background, but his art journey began as a young teenager in London, England where he was an avid drawer and entered “fourth form design” in secondary school. His practice in arts is a return for him, and nothing new in terms of passion.

The place is a fifty year old 5,800 sq.ft warehouse, and the ‘gallery’ exists in the aerial volume beginning twelve feet above floor level. Typically, experimental site-specific installations have been exhibited without the use of floors or walls. Programming has included a public (free entry) summertime opera series “Opera-in-an-Art-Installation”. In collaboration with Voce Dell'arte an opera for the people was produced, appealing to a younger demographic with a casual, accessible and modern sensibility- educating goers by presenting well known opera arias with fresh formats.

The exhibition ‘Bees in Mind’ was an experimental large-scale video installation of documented (to-date) imperiled native bees footage in North America, by artist Shawn Hall. In partnership with Turnaround Arts The Kennedy Center and Broward County Public Schools, a curriculum was developed by ArtsUP! Concepts’ artist-in-residence and delivered within county schools in conjunction with the exhibition at ArtsUP! Concepts.

Neil Ramsay was a presenter in the session “Get-Real Estate” organized by Stephanie Sherman and Jia Gu (Materials & Applications) during the Common Field convening 2017 in Los Angeles.