Masks reference the human drama of willful presentation of a specific ‘face’, to portray a visage that communicates ideas and emotions and sometimes conceals one’s true reaction. An expressive mask can command response. Power, anger, and suffering in the facial expression evoke fear and empathy in return.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My degrees are in studio art, from Illinois Wesleyan University and Columbia College Chicago. I have spent much time teaching in universities, public schools and community centers. For many years I worked in Chicago public schools using art as integrative activities to study core subjects. I have also been teaching yoga in community centers, fitness centers and at universities for 20 years. Presently my yoga students create drawings and my drawing students do stretches each class.
The legends and myths of the world, as well as the divination and ritual actions, have also strongly informed the work. The simultaneous contemplation of the inner and outer self, from the hands and skin to the cells, coincide with yoga teachings and my visions while I meditate. After an adventure with cancer I began using cellular images as inspiration.
Raising 2 children as a single mother and seeing them grow to be accomplished artists (despite their experience with my financial struggles!) has given me a sense of personal fulfillment. With my children now grown I’m striving to record and describe my personal interaction with the world through travel, yoga practices and of course these coalesce in artmaking.
© Nancy VanKanegan