Katherine Fahey is an artist, puppeteer, designer, and nationally beloved creator of scrolled panoramas known as crankies, branded as such for the hand cranks necessary to move the scroll—and, literally, the story—forward. While moving panoramas of all sorts have been used as storytelling media for centuries, Fahey is a leader among the new generation of artists rediscovering and reviving this traditional art form.
Fahey found her way to making crankies through paper cut art. She has taken to this medium—or perhaps it has taken to her—and she has shown herself to be an exceptionally adept crankie storyteller and designer. Through her crankies, she has brought folktales to life using delicately cut paper, expertly displayed in her intricate custom-made crankie frame. With her partner, artist Dan Van Allen, she has become involved with the Arabber Preservation Society in their Hollins Market neighborhood of southwest Baltimore The society is dedicated to preserving the dying tradition of arabbing, or selling fruits and vegetables from horse-drawn wagons. Kathy will be performing a crankie about arabbers that illustrates the relationship between community and cart, with help from arabber and Maryland master Leonard Wills.