Exhibit Puts Spotlight on Sports Mascots

Jonathan the Husky, UConn's current mascot visits the exhibit 'Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century' at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry on Oct. 30, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
Jonathan the Husky, UConn's current mascot visits the exhibition 'Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century' at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. Museum director John Bell, a puppet historian, says sports mascots are part of centuries-old global mask traditions. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

‘Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century,’ costumed mascots of college and professional sports teams, is the new exhibition at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.

Featured mascots include UConn’s Jonathan the Husky, Big Jay and Baby Jay from the University of Kansas, and Lil’ Red from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to famous professional sports team mascots including Boston’s favorite mascot, Wally the Green Monster; Winger, the former mascot of the Washington Capitals; Clutch from the Houston Rockets; and the Famous San Diego Chicken.

“Although mascots are an ever-present element of American culture, they are very rarely celebrated and considered as a part of centuries-old global mask traditions,” says John Bell, a puppet historian and director of the Ballard Institute. “This exhibition will allow us to look at mascots in a new way.”

The exhibit continues through Feb. 11. For more information go to bimp.uconn.edu