A Peek into a very Magical Family Art Lab

Last Saturday we held our Magical Masks Family Art Lab.  In this workshop, we explored the uses of Himalayan masks, searched the galleries for masks and animals (who inspire many Tibetan masks), and created our own masks in the art studio.  It was a magical day, to say the least.

After a brief presentation and discussion about the uses of masks, we headed to the Museum for our gallery exploration.  When began in the Spiral Lobby, where we noticed an animal-inspired mask hanging over our heads.


We continued our journey over to the gold Shiva that greets all Museum goers as they enter the Rubin.  Here participants were asked to imagine and draw themselves with exaggerated features (like those in the mask).  The result? …a lot of gigantic eyes and ears and some pretty fantastic teamwork.


We climbed the mountain-esque stairs, stopping on the 3rd floor Masterworks exhibition in search of animals.  Our first stop was in the Lukhang Mural room, where we discovered yaks, tigers, elephants, and horses in the artworks.

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Look closely to notice the details!


Many masks have very exaggerated facial expressions – a topic we also discussed in the classroom before our tour.  In the Rubin’s collection, you’ll see facial expressions ranging from peaceful to wrathful.  In addition to animals, we searched for these expressions in the artworks.


Despite all of the wrathful looks we noticed, family love was abound in the Museum…


After our tour, we returned to the art studio to make our own masks.  Inspired by all of the animals found in the Museum, participants selected from a variety of plaster animal masks and used materials like paint, ribbon, pipe cleaners, sequins and gems, collage papers, and glitter (of course) to decorate them.


Hard work combined with creativity made for some truly inspiring works of art.

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I suspect some people were mixing a little fun and laughter into their mask-making.


The results blew me away.  Best. Masks. Ever.

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As always, it was a pleasure joining all the families in the fun.  I hope to see you and your family at next month’s Himalayan Sounds Family Art Lab!  We’ll join guest movement instructor, Preeti Vasudevan, in a movement-inspired gallery exploration followed by crafting our own Himalayan instruments out of recycled materials in the art studio!

Please also join us on any Sunday for our new drop-in program, Family Sundays! Sundays in June will continue with Super Sculpting and an exploration of the 6th floor From India East exhibition.  In July we’ll be exploring Himalayan woodblock printing, using woodblocks to create original prints.  Drop into the Museum or art studio any time on a Sunday between 1 & 4pm!


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