Bruce Orr Artist Bio
Bruce Orr has a BFA in Illustration from The University of the Arts and an MA in Art Therapy from Hahnemann University. Bruce is an illustrator, muralist, painter, cartoonist, puppeteer, art therapist and art educator. As a professional Illustrator he has worked for such clients as Spider Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, The Portland Mercury and Animal Action Magazine. His artistic career spans Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon and now Beverly, Massachusetts. He founded The Mudeye Puppet Company, a one man puppet troupe based on the idea of creative reuse, through which he has created 30 original shows, performed at hundreds of schools, libraries and street fairs and taught thousands of children how to make puppets out of recycled materials. As a cartoonist he created Immersion Press, the moniker under which he wrote and illustrated such self published comics as Thred, Bucket Loader and Afterschool. As an educator he taught children’s art classes at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for 7 years. His paintings have been shown in galleries in Philadelphia and Portland,Oregon including Backspace, Nocturnal and Compound. At least 5 people are walking around with Bruce’s artwork tattooed on their bodies. Other notable artistic achievements include writing arts curricula for Oregon Public Broadcasting, building giant recycled shoes for Keen Footwear, being the Education Coordinator of the Spiral Q Puppet Theater, opening for Ryan Gosling’s band Dead Man’s Bones with a cyclopean dancing skeleton puppet, providing a record album puppet-making activity for The Thermals (Portland based rock band) and winning the Trashfinder’s Ball grand prize in Beverly. While in Philadelphia, Bruce had an internship with the world renowned Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, assisting on large outdoor murals in Chinatown and Germantown. He designed and painted two large high visibility outdoor murals in Portland, and was actively involved in the legal battles against Clearchannel that lifted a decade long ban on murals there.
Currently Bruce is a full time art therapist at RAW Art Works and leads the Good 2 Go public art team, partnering with such clients as Straight Ahead Ministries, Olympia Square Apartments and New England Biolabs. Last year Bruce received a Mass Cultural Grant to create “Hank Dave’s Thoreau Down” a musical interactive puppet show about Henry David Thoreau which has been performed at local schools, festivals and puppet slams. Bruce has painted two utility boxes and one public piano for the city of Peabody and is currently working on another in Revere. He has created murals with Beyond Walls, the Red Fence and Harborlight Nursery School.