Traditional Drama Research Group
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Mask Exhibition and Conference 2005

Issue: 
Traditional Drama Forum - No.13

Article type: 
News articles

Compiled by Eddie Cass

Ron Naversen, of the Department of Theatre, Southern Illinois University, originally wrote to us about this conference earlier in the year. We have now had an update for anyone able to attend or who wishes to express an interest.

Dear Mask Enthusiasts:

Thanks to all of you who registered during our early registration period allowing us to continue planning our exciting Masks of Transformation Conference. Registration continues throughout the conference with a full conference fee of $120 for Students and $180 for Individuals. Day passes are also available for $60 each day. The latest Conference Schedule and Registration information is available by calling the Office of Continuing Education at 618-536-7751

The Masks of Transformation Conference begins Wednesday October 5, 2005 at 1:30 on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The exciting schedule offers a diversity of papers, posters, workshops, performances, exhibitions and mask related events for everyone to enjoy. We have mask makers, vendors, performers and scholars from Nigeria, Sweden, Israel, Uruguay, Brazil, Iceland, Greece, Bali, the United Kingdom and many parts of the United States and Canada coming to share their talents, knowledge and insights.

One of our scheduled activities is a tour of the Behind the Masks: Art, Culture and History Exhibition at our University Museum featuring a variety of cultural, historical and artistic masks from around the world. The Contemporary Mask Maker section of this exhibit features the work of over 35 exciting mask makers working in a variety of mediums including wood, leather, paper, plastics, fibers, metal, clay and mixed media. We will visit other mask exhibitions including Masks in Celebration, an exhibition of masks and mask related art by local area artists; Mask and Glove, an exhibition of over 200 masks and mask art pieces created by the students and faculty of the SIUC School of Art and Design; Masks of SIUC Theater, an exhibition of masks by students and faculty of the Department of Theater and Persona, an exhibition of mask related photography by students and faculty of the Department of Cinema and Photography.

The evenings will be filled with a series of contemporary and cultural mask performances including Ojetunje Ojeyemi performing a Nigerian Ancestor Masquerade; a Native American mask tale Matriarchs of the Earth performed by the Big Sky Collective and solo performances by contemporary mask artists Torbjörn Alström, Larry Hunt’s Masque Theatre, and Rob Faust’s Faustwork Theater.

There will be performance opportunities for everyone to don a mask during the Open Mask Cabaret hosted by Bruce Marrs and during our In Celebration: Arts and Ethnic Festival. This festival will showcase a Mask Bazaar with a dozen mask makers selling their masks and demonstrating their mask making techniques. There will be Mask Making Workshops for everyone to participate in including Jeff Semmerling’s Message Bearing Masks, Mary Copenhagens’ Alternative Materials for Masks, Carolyn Ferdinand’s Gourd Mask Making, Najjar Abdul-Musawwir’s Fantastic Masks, Hilary Chandler’s Animal Totem Masks, and Colleen Springer-Lopez’s Sugar Skulls.

The Masquerade Ball will feature entertainment by the New Arts Jazz Quintet, vocal renditions of classic songs by Lori Merrill-Fink and Jeanine Wagner, selections from The Phantom of the Opera by the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theater, a Fashion Show of Masksand hourly Drawings for Masks donated by our fabulous mask vendors. Masks will be required to enter the Ball so everyone should pack their favorite mask and costume/evening wear for this night of masked festivities.

There is a Catalogue for the Behind the Masks: Art, Culture & History Exhibition which is being held in conjunction with the Masks of Transformation Conference. There are several essays by the Mask Conference presenters. It is available by contacting Dona Bachman, Director University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL 62901 

Mask Conference Committee

Ronald Naversen

Hilary Chandler

Segun Ojewuyi