Woodpecker Mask

I’m very happy to see the new mask show at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (Sept-Oct) Dovetailing along with this mask retrospective, is the fact that I’m creating a new mask now, an Ivory Billed Woodpecker mask of generous proportions – 40” long x 18” tall. It is a commission for a client in Seattle who is an avid collector.  What is the significance of a carved, painted mask?  Well this question is not easily answered.  It’s not like I use them in ceremonies, although they have been known to be used by me at
Halloween, but it’s more personal.  Part of my drive is based upon the great influences of the Native American masks of the Pacific Northwest.  These large colorful, brilliantly designed works, now artifacts of tribal history, were I think a means of telling stories about the world, its deep interrelated life forms and the peoples of the
tribe.  Almost every culture makes some type of masks.  I guess you could say that my masks look back at me and create a sense of wonder toward my life and all life. They expand my view of the world. A life in a certain time should reflect a deep vision about creation and our place in it.  Dare I say that my masks give a sense of the sacred and magical in the everyday?

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