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Wall quilts around campus show artists' creativity with face masks

Published on February 06, 2023

Wall quilts around campus show artists' creativity with face masks

black death quilt
"The Black Death Suppressing the Beating Heart of Mankind," by Laura Crow

Masks, ubiquitous during the height of the COVID pandemic, have all but disappeared from faces, but an art installation on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus brings them into view as large-scale wall quilts.

The quilts were created by costume designers from around the world and were submitted this past summer to “Scenofest” at the World Stage Design 2022 exhibition in Calgary, Canada. Art Gallery director Julia Wintner selected eight of them for display at Eastern. They will be exhibited at the library and the Student Center until the end of spring semester.

“When masks are made by artists, they are always different — creative,” Wintner said.

lion heart quilt
Part of the "Hope of Lion Rock" quilt by Ingrid Proos

Scenic designers, out of work during the pandemic, began to make masks and distribute them to help people when there was a mask shortage, she said. World Stage Design, an exhibition showcasing performance design, issued a call for submissions of large quilts or banners made from masks, and artists from around the world responded.

“It’s a nice crossover between theater that was so affected by the pandemic and visual arts,” Wintner said.

Two of the large mask quilts are on display in the Student Center — “Hope of Lion Rock” by Ingrid Proos, a native Estonian now working in costume technology for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and “The Black Death Suppressing the Beating Heart of Mankind” by costume designer Laura Crow, a distinguished professor of fine arts at the University of Connecticut.

Others are displayed throughout the library. “I tried to go beyond the gallery space and take over the campus,” joked Wintner.

After spring semester the quilts will be sent to Prague, Czech Republic, for the next symposium of the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians, which organizes the World Stage Design.


Written by by Lucinda Weiss

Categories: Art Gallery, Arts