Mask Alive! Museum & Cultural Center has launched an online collection of masks, performance art-related objects, exhibitions, and free pop-up art installations around the Valley.
Cultural Coalition, Inc. founders Zarco and Carmen Guerrero say this legacy project has been years in the making as a gift to the Arizona arts and culture community to celebrate the history of the performing arts in the Valley, according to a press release.
Drawing from more than 1,000 masks and sculptures created by master artist and Arizona native Zarco, his apprentices, and other Arizona artists, the online collection features over 400 objects used in performances and festivals for more than 40 years throughout the state.
Museum exhibitions tell the story of masks used as cultural tools in traditional storytelling and how masks have been used in Arizona’s history by local performing arts organizations and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, specifically, Chicano, Native, Japanese, and African cultures.
The Museum features cultural artwork used in storytelling, folkloric dance, and theatrical presentations by multiple Arizona arts and culture organizations including Ken Koshio’s Taiko Drummers, Childsplay Theater, Black Theater Troupe, Ballet Folkórico Quetzallí, Vessel by Rachel Bowditch, ASU theatrical productions, and more.
“The Mask Alive Museum is a testament to the powerful artistic impact that the mask artform has played in the cultural life of the Valley,” Zarco Guerrero shared in a statement. “It honors and recognizes the many individuals and arts organizations that have brought the masks to life with their talent and determination to preserve and disseminate this universal and ancient tradition.”
The pop-up exhibits are currently displayed in the storefront window of 111 Main St., in downtown Mesa, with plans to expand to additional public spaces and at each of Cultural Coalition's free annual arts and culture festivals that take place throughout the Valley.
The pop-up exhibits are free.
Click here for more information.