Magical Masks at Family Art Labs!

Not only is spring finally here, but we had a great turnout for Saturday’s Family Art Lab, Magical Masks!  This workshop took families on an exploration of Tibetan Masks through a mini presentation, a journey through the galleries, and an art-making session.

Looking at the masks from the museum’s touch collection made everyone eager to begin crafting their Magical Masks.

touch collection

Before we could begin the art-making process, we had to learn more about the masks we’d be creating…

What is a mask and what are the different ways a mask can be used?  Through our discussion, we learned that masks have many different uses.  They can disguise us, they can be worn for religious or ceremonial practices, or they can transform us into other creatures!  We learned that in Tibet, masks are often made to look like animals and that their colors have special meanings – red represents bravery, yellow – knowledge, and green – kindness.


We followed our discussion with a trip to the museum to look at the masks that hang in the museum’s lobby.

spiral lobby

lobby masks

We continued our exploration on the 5th floor gallery, Flip Side: The Unseen in Tibetan Art.  Families used their Magical Mask Activity Guides as tools to uncover stories about the artworks in the exhibition and to provoke thought about the masks they would create.

After being fully inspired by artwork we saw in the museum, we arrived back at the Art Studio and quickly put ourselves in artist-mode!  There were several varieties of animal masks to choose from and endless supplies to decorate them with.

We began by painting our masks, thinking about the special meanings of colors in Tibetan Masks and also what types of designs would enhance our masks most.  Once the masks were painted, they had to be quickly dried for decorating.  Being creative thinkers, we used hair dryers and fans to speed along the process.

drying station


Now it was time for adding feathers, gems, sequins, shiny adornments, pipe cleaners, metallic foil…you name it, we decorated with it!  It was pretty amazing to see all of the supplies put to use in such clever and unique ways.





Everyone was proud to show off their finished product…



Exploring the art of mask-making was a truly special experience and I’d definitely say that the masks created in Saturday’s Family Art Lab were no less than magical.

The Family Programs Team is looking forward to May’s Family Art Lab, Raja-Rani: King and Queen for a Day, based on the exhibition, Fiercely Modern: Art of the Naga Warrior (opening soon)!  Please visit our website for more information about Family Art Labs and to purchase tickets.

See you in May!

This entry was posted in Art Making, Education Center, Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.