Masters of Disguise II: A Group Exhibition —- Opening June 2nd, 6-8pm

smmaskLast year’s Masters of Disguise mask group exhibition was a runaway success. And that should be no surprise: few traditional objects are as iconic to the Pacific Northwest Coast as masks, which offer such a rich platform from which to explore the cultural and art history and contemporary issues of our region. While many objects on the Coast combine functions of magnificent utility and aesthetic, the mask holds a place of prominence because of its use in ceremony, theater, healing, and family wealth.

Many masks depict specific characters from mythology. These character masks are each part of a lineage reaching back centuries. These ancient myth beings are defined and recognized by their physical attributes and features which reveal aspects of their personalities, environment, and history. A great Bukwus Mask is instantly recognizable as Bukwus by its classic features: hollow cheeks, high cheekbones, hooked nose. But for a mask to be a true masterwork, those features must congeal into a personality that conveys the wildness, pathos, and isolation that defines the life of the Bukwus. There is the art.

A great mask leaves an impression of having met someone or something. A great mask exudes an energy beyond its material manifestation to convey a life force, humanity, and persona that is palatable to both the viewer and the wearer. In Masters of Disguise I to walk through the room was to start a dozen conversations with a dozen different spirits, animals, creatures, and people, each with a sense of connection to different cultures, places, and times. From traditional characters, to hybrids, to completely new forays, our artists brought us villains and terrors, ethereal spirits, denizens of deep forest, modern musings on myth, and friendly faces. We look forward to another round of conversations we could have nowhere else this coming June.

Exhibition Dates:

June 2, 2016 - June 30, 2016

Featured Works