The Magic of Masks

A Two-part Mask-making Workshop


with Anna Wiancko-Chasman

Sunday, October 29, 1:00 – 4:00 pm &
Sunday, November 5, 1:00 – 4:00 pm


“Masks are objects that cover the face for variety of reasons. They are used for protection, disguise, entertainment or ritual practices and are made from various materials, depending of use. Earliest use of masks was for rituals and ceremonies, and the oldest found mask is from 7000 BC.”


     In this two part mask-making process, students will engage in personal exploration through mask making. In a nurturing and safe setting, students will work in pairs to create masks from each others’ faces using plaster gauze.

      Students will be encouraged to keep a journal between class sessions that records dreams, thoughts, and personal insights. This might also include a list of ideas, events, or objects that carry personal meaning for each participant. Some other ideas to consider: an important event or day, something you love, something you believe in, your favorite season, your favorite pastime, something that identifies you as a person, your favorite animal, your cultural heritage. Keep in mind that this work is often intuitive, and spontaneous expression is encouraged.

     In the second class, we will work with the mask forms to create smooth surfaces, a blank “canvas” if you will, for inspiration and embellishment. Students are encouraged, through example and discussion, to explore and consider what their intent is for the decoration of this personal image.

     The finished masks can be minimal and austere, or they can be richly enhanced. Participants may choose to express themselves with paints, beads, fabrics, collage materials, feathers, grasses, and more. These supplies will be provided. Students might also wish to include objects or artifacts from home that carry a deep personal meaning to serve as symbolic representations of self or mystical talismans. Whatever treatment the artist chooses, these masks will be transformed into symbols and expressions of the inner self, personal life experiences and passions, and one’s place in the world of spirit, humanity and nature.

     We will come away with masks that are not used for the purpose of hiding our real selves, but to represent and embody authentic self expression and the celebration of our unique and true natures.

     Ideas will flow within a warm, peaceful and safe river setting, surrounded by trees and the beauty of the natural world.

Location:  Anna’s studio will be the site of this workshop.  It is located on the Washougal River just minutes from downtown Camas/Washougal.  Directions will be shared upon registration.

Tuition:  $80 (includes two days of class and materials) Limited to 8 participants.

Online registration, click here

Anna’s art can be seen at Camas Gallery, Aurora Gallery in Vancouver, RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, Guardino Gallery in Portland, and Harbor Arts in Port Angeles.  You can also check out her website:

macawtailfeathersmallArtist’s Statement


      I have been selling my art for more than four decades, but my love of art and the creative process has happily been a major part of my life since I was a child.
      I believe the powerful communication and expression of art enriches both the artist and the public.  Therefore, I feel that with art making comes not only personal satisfaction but also a sense of responsibility.  Through art, the artist speaks a universal truth that is often more accessible than other forms of communication.  I try to speak out about critical and difficult issues facing people and the planet, but also balance this with art that is whimsical and humorous.  I enjoy the exploration of metaphor and irony in all their permutations.
     I frequently work in clay,  mixed media, and found objects to create unusual and expressive sculptures and assemblages.  Working in this manner allows me a freedom of expression that I cannot achieve nearly as well as with a single medium alone.  Sometimes I prefer to work  in 2-D, in acrylic, collage and watercolor, but most often, I incorporate mixed media and found objects as well.
     I draw most of my inspiration from a deep and lifelong love of nature and animals.  Much of my work reflects that passion,  whether it is a sculpture of a shore bird or salmon, or a mixed media painting of our forests and streams. 
      I teach classes in clay and mixed media to adults and children.  I am also an art therapist and art therapy supervisor.   Following the tragic loss of my daughter to cancer in 1989, I returned to college and in 1992, I earned a master’s degree in art therapy, later working for hospice in Portland.  Several years after that, I began private practice, specializing in grief and loss.  I believe my own experience and the experience of helping others through such difficult and challenging times have enriched my own personal growth and expression and given me an understanding of deep human connections.  Even if someone is not directly involved in art therapy, just the process of making art can have a deep healing impact on the artist.  
     I continue to seek out new artistic ways to express my thoughts and feelings, stretching the limits of the materials and subject.  It is inspiring, challenging, thrilling, and always powerful.
~ Anna Wiancko-Chasman~

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