The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 27, 2001


Face to face: Gleason Library art exhibit features masks

The next time you are at the Gleason Library take a minute to walk up to the third floor. About 75 masks made by Carlisle Public School fourth-graders are currently on display along the stairwell. The show, the second of the Art at the Gleason exhibition, runs from June 2 through August 31.

"I felt the 3-dimensional quality of the masks would look great against the stark walls," said elementary art teacher Courtney Graham. Student art will appear every summer as part of the Art at the Gleason program. Graham plans to select work from other grades in the future.

Graham described the 2-week process used by the fourth-graders to make the masks as "complex." The students worked in pairs initially. Each would apply plaster gauze to their faces, and then lie still for 10 minutes while the material hardened. Students then applied paper clay to the mask and some added features like horns, ears, and even whiskers. They then painted the masks. Some students chose rainbow displays, others bright neon, and one used a simple black and white design. Several students decorated their masks with beads and feathers.

"The children had to show what they feel is their personality," said Graham. "The project developed self-expression and built self-esteem."

The elementary art curriculum covers the basic principles of design. Topics include such elements as color, line, and texture. The curriculum also covers traditional art history as well as cultural influences on art.

Upcoming exhibits include the photography of Carol Krauss (September 4 - October 31), the oil paintings of Laurel Hughes (November 7 - January 5), and the sketches of Tom Wilson (January 11 - March 2).

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito