The imaginative mind responsible for the design and creation of the Drabbits and Ventriloquist Figures that make up the world of Imaginarium Galleries can be credited to Mr. Albert Alfaro, Jr. Albert has been sculpting and designing for over 35 years. At a very young age, his parents discovered that he possessed a god-given ability to unearth figments of his imagination and transform them, using whatever mediums were available to him, into tangible works of art that he could share with his family and friends. This talent would open up a world of opportunity for him in the future. He didn’t know it then, but at the age of just 6 he was laying the foundation for what would later become “The Magical World of Imaginarium Galleries!”
Albert’s interest in puppetry started with ventriloquism. He recalls watching the legendary Paul Winchell on television and being fascinated by his sidekick Jerry Mahoney. Paul and Jerry, along with a handful of other characters and ventriloquists like Howdy Doody and Jimmy Nelson, influenced Albert to build puppets of his own. Just a lad of hardly 10 years old though, he quickly realized that ventriloquist making was quite complicated and something he would have to work up to. Dedicated to pursue puppet making of some kind, Albert began experimenting. He used socks, rods, strings, wire, pretty much anything he could get his hands on that would help make his artwork seem alive. This quest to bring inanimate objects to life kept Albert busy for a number of years and before long he was coming up with his own methods to coerce his creations to life.
In the 70’s Albert invented a mechanism that was capable of breathing life into his art like nothing he had ever tried or even seen before. From this invention the original animated pets, Wise Aces, were born. Wise Aces were little imp-like creatures that were designed to sit on your shoulder and be animated via the concealed cable system that he had invented. Once Albert realized the potential that his invention had, he set out to acquire the necessary patent to protect his idea. He was successfully granted a United States patent for the concept.
Even back then, Albert was a very motivated and driven individual. Although passionate about his art, he hadn’t quite realized yet that his hobby would become his career. After graduating at the top of his class, he followed his father’s footsteps and went on to pursue a career in the medical field. Albert put himself through medical school almost entirely on the sales of his artwork. He graduated with honors from medical school and worked for a number of years with children at a prestigious hospital in New York City.
By that point in time, Albert had been fortunate enough to marry his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life, Maria. They settled down and started a family. Before long, his passionate hobby for art and puppetry grew successful enough to support their growing family and he began to pursue it full-time. Albert continued inventing and developing new ideas and concepts based on his original patent. Wise Aces evolved into the magical creatures you recognize today as Drabbits. His whimsical Drabbits are some of the most successful puppets on the market. Each puppet is still hand made individually just like they were over 35 years ago. The personality and expression captured in every Drabbit is truly remarkable.
After mastering the craft of cable puppet making, and acquiring a very valuable skill-set along the way, Albert decided to make a full circle and re-visit the art form that started it all-- ventriloquism. Although he had dabbled with ventriloquist making in his teens, Albert knew it would take hard work and dedication to become a professional ventriloquist figure maker. He set his mind to it and did just that. Albert is currently regarded as one of the top ventriloquist makers in the world. He strives for highest the level of excellence in every aspect of his work and continues to grow as an artist and designer by challenging himself to take it to the next level.
To this day Albert crafts his wonderful puppets by hand in his studio in Pennsylvania. Albert and his wife Maria are loving parents of four beautiful children who are very talented themselves and active in the family business. One of Albert’s greatest joys in life is knowing that his legacy will live on through his children.