Community Faces: Mounted

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Jan 222004
 
Authors: Ben Bleckley

On Jan. 9, there was one place to see the faces of CSU football

head coach Sonny Lubick, Mayor Ray Martinez, CSU President Larry

Penley and 9 News’ Mike Nelson alongside those of CSU students and

faculty.

The Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art opened its exhibit

“Faces in the Crowd,” 109 clay masks created by community members

from all walks of life. The masks will be on display and available

for silent auction until Feb. 29, when they will be distributed to

the highest bidder.

“We really asked a lot of non-artists, non-art people,” said

Jeanne Shoaff, executive director of the museum. “The key for us

was to figure out that we could involve art in lot of people’s

lives who may not normally be a part of the art museum.

“They’re all supposedly non-artists, but the quality of the

masks are outstanding.”

The museum took the idea from a similar project Sutter VNA and

Hospice does to raise money. Celebrities paint masks, which are

then auctioned off to support the hospice’s projects. Proceeds from

MOCA’s exhibit will fund the museum.

Artists received their masks at the beginning of November and

had approximately six weeks to complete them.

Among the CSU mask painters were Lubick, an art education class

and some faculty members.

Mark Driscoll, CSU’s athletic director, was concerned about his

own artistic talent. In the end, Driscoll’s youngest son completed

the mask, which slightly resembles a CSU football helmet, or a

fan’s face-painted fa�ade.

“He’s the talent. He can draw a straight line and knows the

difference between green and gold,” Driscoll said.

Patrick Fahey, an associate professor in the art department, was

also asked to make a mask, an honor he passed on to 9-year-old

Diana Davis at Cache La Poudre Elementary.

“(I wanted) to incorporate an idea that reflected what it is

that I do,” Fahey said. “One of the things I do is work with people

who want to be art teachers.”

One of Fahey’s pupils is Stephie Morton, Davis’s art

teacher.

“I knew she was the perfect one,” Morton said. “She was so

thoughtful.”

Davis said her mask was supposed to portray the face of a fairy.

She used pieces from Chinese and Native American faces as well as

purple hair to achieve this.

“I wanted to show people something they wouldn’t see every day,”

Davis said.

That is exactly what Fahey wanted.

“I was trying to empower a child, to give her vision to an

audience,” Fahey said.

This goal that is similar to that of MOCA’s.

“Art really is a part of everyone’s lives and it can enhance

your life so much, taking the time to do it,” Shoaff said. “But

even if you don’t do it on a regular basis you use that creativity

in so many other ways in your life.”

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