As a young sculptor fresh from art school, Wendy Brackman struggled with the problem of “selling out.” In the video below she talks about her decision to become a party entertainer. Her act involves spontaneous sculpture of weird party hats cut by hand, from paper plates, using scissors, and joined together with staples. That was it. In need of a broader color palette, she began painting the plates with acrylic house paint before cutting them up, and as her act developed and began to take off, eventually graduated to custom-printed and die-cut cardstock blanks, instead of plates.
Video by Jon Kalish
Eventually, she began to incorporate jokes and “patter” into her routine. Now, 30 years on, her alter ego Wacky Wendy is a hugely successful and sought-after party act. She’s flown all over the world by corporate clients for executive retreats and other gala events. Recently, her 8′-diameter Paper Plate Mandala was exhibited at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum as part of their All Things Round exhibit.