Old Rochester’s Mask Making Tradition

Every fall, just in time for Halloween, Old Rochester’s Ceramic I students embark on a captivating investigation of masks, as tools of transformation and cultural significance. Students researched selected masks from a diverse range of global masking traditions, studying symbolism and contextual rituals and/or celebrations before reinterpreting them through ceramic artistry.

            Each mask became an expression of the student’s imagination, infused with vibrant colors, intricate shapes, and meaningful designs, symbolic of the story, purpose, and power each student invented for their mask. From the initial crafting of maquettes to the final unveiling of final, life-size masks, students blended ancient traditions with personal narratives to produce the body of work you see before you.

            As visitors to this exhibit, we are invited to immerse ourselves in the rich tapestry of human history and creativity, exploring the stories and symbolism behind each mask. Through their artistry, Old Rochester’s Ceramic I students offer a glimpse into the enduring power of cultural traditions and the transformative potential of the mask as artistic expression.

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