Puppets are serious business for artist Tiffany Lange
Photos and text by Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun
Puppets may be thought of as a form of children’s entertainment for many people but for artist Tiffany Lange, puppets are a serious business. Lange, the founder of Charm City Puppets, began her career as a medical illustrator and is now an artist-in-residence at the Creative Alliance in southeast Baltimore. She and her team create whimsical custom puppets for a range of national clientele including the The Joffrey Ballet’s production of Don Quixote.
Her artistic mission, she says, is to “create character-based, high-level art capable of guiding the viewer toward a lighthearted, sensory experience, inspiring new emotions and behaviors.”
One of her current projects is the BUDDY System (Bringing Understanding of Diagnosis and Disease to Youth). “Sam,” a puppet she is working on in these photos, is an African-American character who will be part of a team of video-based puppet educators and online avatar advocates. His goal, along with fellow characters Carmen and Jackson, is to “provide a friend, not just a means of distraction,” for children who are facing health challenges.
The BUDDY System is a comprehensive program that aims to bring puppetry into innovative pediatric education. Her hope is to alleviate the anxieties of children while educating them about their prognosis and recovery.