My name is Jeanne, and I have been making masks for over 20 years. In college I traveled to Italy and studied with the University of Georgia's Cortona art program for a summer. At the time I was a ceramic sculptor and painter. Upon visiting Venice, I was introduced to paper mache masks as an art. Up until that time I had a very narrow view of masks and their place in our culture. Since people, and faces in particular, were the focus of my own art I was fascinated by the masks of Venice; with their variety and quality. Upon returning home I began to experiment with paper mache on my own. As an artist, I had always felt constrained by the limitations of my two chosen mediums; ceramics and painting. I craved the dimensionality of ceramic sculpting, yet the slip and slide of oil paints and the vibrancy of the colors also seemed necessary to me. In paper mache I had found a medium which I could sculpt by hand and then paint. And since faces are my focus, making masks just seemed like the logical evolution of my work. The masks which I make allow me to explore the art of the face in extensive detail and variation. In the last several years I have taken the paper mache another step. By integrating paper mache with traditional oil painting on canvas I have created several large pieces of relief wall sculpture which are then painted with oils.
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