It's been about 6 months in the making for my part, and only about a year for the entire staff incorporating the Higgins Armory collection into the Worcester Art Museum.
Helmutt at the Higgins with a troop in 1952
Through cartoons, standees, wall vinyls and digital iPad graphics, Helmutt will guide the visitor throughout the exhibition and eventually the museum itself.
I think the main purpose is to make the body of work all the more accessible for the viewer.
It was important to me that a few things happen:
- The design look like the original dog (which is plaster, not taxidermy)
- The voice of the character be mature, like an older-sibling (think Wishbone)
- The character would be approachable for kids and adults alike
Crossing my fingers, this is my first time doing such a large audience engagement project - very exciting!
(ABOVE) early sketches - somewhat too literal interpretation
(BELOW) later ideas - taking more cartoonified license
Once we decided on the crowd favorite (center), it was adapted into more iterations
We had fun with the idea of Helmutt being a cross-dresser, putting him in the dress of one of the key European portraits in the WAM Spanish collection (bottom left)
putting it into the space (photo credit; MASSLive)
Thank you to the team at WAM for the opportunity & support
Please excuse my dumb face and stay tuned to see my incredibly wonderful husband talk about the Keaton Batman suit. (Which he facilitated in bringing here)