For context, MLAP launched this effort earlier in 2020, and the partnership with the RRCA will help amplify more voices as we head into the new year. Here is a link to masks created on the same theme by MLAP volunteers. http://bit.ly/ArtParkMasks
Michigan Legacy Art Park (MLAP) and the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA), two longtime nonprofit cultural organizations, collaborated to expand this art project, which began in August 2020 and was created by artist and Volunteer Director of Education for MLAP, Patricia Innis.
The goal of the “Stay Safe” mask exhibit is to explore the experiences during the health pandemic and foster a sense of connection as we prepare to come out of this emergency and return to life as we knew it before COVID-19. Innis invited fellow artists, supporters, and friends to create the first round of masks, and quickly saw the potential for the project to keep growing.
Innis reflected on the project’s impact, “It quickly became apparent it was more than just a fun thing to do. Families were using the masks as a starting point to talk about thoughts and feelings during the pandemic. I’m amazed at how many still want to create masks and the number of organizations who have expressed interest in bringing the project to their own communities.”
Over 500 people and families have participated since it launched by decorating blank paper mache masks expressing their personal stories during the quarantine. Nine local organizations have participated including the Goodwill Inn of Traverse City and the Armory Youth Group of Manistee, among others, with contributions coming from as far away as Minnesota, Colorado, and California. Taken together, the masks create a powerful story of our resilience, our fears, our losses, and our hopes as a society over the past year.