September 19, 2005

Vivid creations on display in mask exhibit

by Paula Davenport

mask 2

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Ever wish you could parade around as somebody or something else? A tiger, perhaps. Or a queen. Well, mask makers all over the world make these fantasies come true.

Some of their vivid and imaginative creations are now on exhibit at the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"Behind the Mask: Art, Culture and History," exhibits a wide variety of masks — historic and contemporary — from around the world and explores the roles masks play in creating and transforming identity on both a personal and social level.

Three related exhibits about masks are coming in October; one will be at the museum; another in the Glove Factory (408 S. Washington, on the northwest corner of Washington and College streets in downtown Carbondale); and the third in the SIUC Communications Building.

They're all free. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 1-4 p.m. Saturday through Monday. The museum is closed for Veterans' Day, Nov. 11, and during Thanksgiving break, Nov. 19-27. The museum is in north wing of Faner Hall.

A guide to the exhibitions:

  • "Behind the Mask: Art, Culture and History," everything from large tribal masks to delicate feathered creations. Now through Dec. 16; University Museum. Tour groups welcome; call 618/453-5388 for arrangements.
  • "Mask and Glove," an exhibition of mask art by faculty and students in the SIUC School of Art and Design. Oct. 1 - 31, the Glove Factory.
  • "Personae," a photographic exhibit of masks by faculty and students in the cinema and photography department; Oct. 3 - 9; Communications Building.
  • "Hidden Talents, Masks by Area 8th and 9th Graders," juried exhibit of masks made by area middle-school students. Oct. 28 - Dec. 9. University Museum.

Providing cultural outreach is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence through Commitment, the long-range plan the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.