Pablo Cano

When Pablo Cano was seven, his 10-year-old sister told him he had a talent for art. He took that to heart and the 1982 general fine arts graduate has since made a career out of turning that early passion into creating marionettes.

“Artists are like scientists—you have to rely on childlike curiosity,” he said. Marionettes best express that childlike wonder, said 49-year-old Cano, who has been creating them since he was 10. Inspired by the Dada movement and Pablo Picasso, Cano also credits MICA for reinforcing the importance of observation when producing good art, another skill that can be learned from children.

With so much respect for the wonderment of youth, it seems fitting that Cano’s work would be a major highlight of the Young At Art Children’s Museum in Davie, Florida. The artist, who was born in Cuba and raised in Miami’s Little Havana, is currently finishing up a project for the museum three years in the making, in which his marionettes will be showcased in Pablo Cano’s Magical Marionette and Puppet Theater/Gallery/Workshop, scheduled to be a permanent fixture in the museum starting in February 2012.

Not only can marionettes be used to entertain, but Cano’s creations impart a message. As election season rolls around and politics take front and center, Cano is putting the finishing touches on The 7 Wonders of the Modern World, a production in which the main character is President Barack Obama, who will be talking about the world’s virtues. The performance, which is a collaboration between Cano and writer Carmen Pelaez, will be shown in May 2011 in North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Kelley Roy Gallery in Miami will be showcasing 12 years of his marionette/puppet productions in February 2011.