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When the curtain at Telluride’s Palm Theater goes up the weekend of August 14 – August 16, for the 23rd annual Mudd Butts production, “Fears of Your Life,” in addition to the 35 young actors, the stars of the show include papier mache props and costumes created by propmeister Mike Stasiuk.
Stasiuk is an artist who, for years, has created whimsical, interactive, oversized assemblage sculptures he fashions from found objects such as old tools and toys found at flea markets. Like the late great Pop artist Claes Oldenburg, Stasiuk is into gargantuan metaphors and the rehabilitation of the trivial. His work is currently on display in a group show of New England artists at George Marshall Store Gallery in York, New Hampshire. (Through August 23.)
Mike Stasiuk has also been “Mr. Stasiuk,” a teacher for 21 years at New Durham Elementary School in New Hampshire. For years, he has also taught challenged individuals.
Click the “play” button on the video to see this year’s props in development and hear Mike Stasiuk talk about his work.