"The month of Halloween is the perfect time to celebrate the art of mask making", according to Art Center Ukiah show organizer Katie Gibbs. She continues, "It seems like a fun idea to showcase the originality and beauty of hand-crafted masks on the gallery's walls. A variety of fun, crazy, delightful or downright macabre masks will be on display, some created from unexpected (and possibly even unwearable) materials."
"Masks take on a entirely different significance, depending on how they are presented," ACU Board member Jacquie Lolich muses, "A mask on a person, be he or she an actor or perhaps a robber, is the definition of disguise. Hanging empty on a gallery wall, a mask may spark the imagination of the onlooker."
Britannica defines a mask as "a form of disguise or concealment usually worn over or in front of the face to hide the identity of a person and by its own features to establish another being. This essential characteristic of hiding and revealing personalities or moods is common to all masks. As cultural objects they have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age and have been as varied in appearance as in their use and symbolism."
The masks on the walls for the "In Disguise" show may or may not embody all of these fascinating characteristics. What is guaranteed is that they will be original creations by local masters of the craft.
Of particular interest to locals will be a number of masks contributed by the Ukiah Players Theater. Crafted as costumes for productions such as Alice in Wonderland, many of these masks are spectacular works of art in their own right. This will be a rare opportunity for viewers to admire and appreciate these beauties up close.
The First Friday opening of "In Disguise" will be on October 6 from 5-8pm at the Corner Gallery, 201 S State Street in Ukiah. Live music will be provided by Steve Winkle throughout the evening.