Mask Making as a Tool for Community Expression and Healing in the Aftermath

The Arts & Culture Recovery Committee of St. John (ACRC) which includes such organizations as The St. John School of the Arts, The Community Foundation of St. John, JANCO and the Gri Gri Project would like to invite the community to participate in its project: Mask Making as a Tool for Community Expression and Healing in the Aftermath of the 2017 Hurricane Season.

This project will mirror a variety of community public art and art therapy projects that have been successful in supporting the emotional and social recovery process after a disaster.

Mask-making has had spiritual and social functions globally, and mask-making and masquerading traditions have come to the Caribbean region via African and European cultures. Our project proposes that the practice of mask-making can be therapeutic for the St. John community in the aftermath of the major hurricanes that affected the island in 2017.

Participants are encouraged to imagine new identities, new selves, new ways of being in the storms’ aftermath. The masks can be purely imaginative or have elements of social commentary. Workshops are free and art supplies are included. Participants are welcome to bring found objects that they can use to embellish their masks.

When the project is complete, masks will be displayed as a temporary public art project around the island during the St. John Festival season to help build community and introduce an aesthetic to the recovery that suggests both newness and is rooted in cultural heritage. A juried selection of a portion of the masks will also be displayed at the Department of Interior later this year.

Community Art Workshops:

Thursday June 7th at Bajo El Sol from 6pm to 8pm

Saturday June 9th at Pickles in Coral Bay from 1pm to 3pm

Saturday June 9th at Bajo El Sol in Cruz Bay from 4pm to 6pm

Thursday June 14th at Bajo El Sol in Cruz Bay from 6pm to 8pm

Bajo el Sol Gallery is located within Mongoose Junction, Cruz Bay St. John.  Contact Priscilla at 340-690-9528 for further information.