Saturday, September 27, 2008

(Left)Bill Murray mingling with art lovers.
(Below)Art lovers and their new dragon mask.



Last night was the opening of the new Metalurges Mask Show. It was a celebration of a new gallery partnership of Susan Levine and Bill Murray, the re-connection of mask artists and collectors from the former Graystone Gallery.

My love of masks and Bill’s mask shows goes back a long way. For many years, I would drive across town just to view Bill’s annual show. This was before I even dreamed of making masks myself, but now I know all those visits inspired me to take art classes, learn to paint and sculpt.

When my screening sculptures were chosen for the Graystone Annual Mask show, I was thrilled. Every year, I looked forward to it and when it closed, I was sad. What I didn’t realize at the time, was how important mask making was to me. My studio work slowed way down. I felt lost.

What kept me going, once again, were masks. This time, mask making re-emerged in my life through workshops and after-school classes at schools around the city. I made a few masks in my studio, but more and more, I was helping others learn the magic of mask making. I love bringing the magic of creation to others. I really believe that creativity is a core need no matter what your age or stage.

When Bill called, with the news of a new mask show opening, I dove into my studio filled with new energy and inspiration. I created 5 new masks for the show, 2 in copper and 3 in screening.

The copper repouss√© dragon was inspired by the wonderful new children’s book based on Peter Yarrow’s song, ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon’. I taught a mask makers class at a local elementary school last spring using the book and song all about Puff. So, I knew that one of the masks would definitely be a dragon.

Once again, Bill’s mask show makes magic for everyone involved. Artists get to catch up with each other and share their new masks. Old and new friends get to mix and mingle. Art lovers are treated to a feast of mixed media masks in clay, wood, steel, wire, tile, aluminum and copper.

If you weren’t able to make to the opening night celebration, you can still enjoy the show from now through October 31st. Metalurges Gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday Noon to 5p.m. or by appointment at 3601 S.E. Division Street in Portland, Oregon.

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