Creative Fusion Update: Kop Thammapruska

For three months, beginning in September, six international artists created, collaborated and engaged with the Greater Cleveland community through our Creative Fusion international-artist-in-residence program. Hailing from Chile, Iran, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, the artists in the Creative Fusion 2015 fall class were in residency at local arts organizations including Cleveland Print Room, The Sculpture Center, Negative Space Gallery, Zygote Press, Rainey Institute and Waterloo Arts. We blogged about each artist in October, and now that the fall 2015 residency has ended, we’re giving a brief update about each artists’ work and experience during their time in our city. This is the fifth of six updates on the fall 2015 Creative Fusion artists.

From movement exercises to mask making, Kop Thammapruska used a variety of mediums to engage Greater Clevelanders ranging in age from 5 to 102 during her residency at Rainey Institute. Kop worked with the students at Rainey and seniors at Judson manor on a regular basis during her time in Cleveland. She conducted a series of movement workshops for the Judson residents, and although many of the residents use wheelchairs, they enjoyed the opportunity to partake in creative movement activities. At Rainey, Kop taught the students about her home in Thailand, giving them a sense of what life is like for children there. She also worked with Rainey students in the pottery studio, creating masks and other ceramics projects.

Both the children at Rainey and the seniors at Judson thoroughly enjoyed learning about masks and the effect they can have on performers. Kop created five colorful masks, each showing different facial expressions, using clay molds, paper mache and paint. Both the Rainey students and the Judson residents wore the masks to get into character and communicate nonverbally during performance workshops.

In her time outside Rainey and Judson, Kop attended Aikido Classes at Asian Town Center, experienced a Cleveland Orchestra concert and went to a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game.