Facing Humanity: A Parade of Masks September 1 – October 1
Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company will celebrate Downtown Muncie’s First Thursday gallery walk , September 1st from 5 – 8 pm with an opening reception for Facing Humanity: A Parade of Masks, an exhibition of hand-made masks by artist and performer Jonathan Becker. The artist will be on hand to engage with viewers throughout the evening and will speak briefly to the audience about his work at 6:15. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.
Jonathan Becker is a mask maker, teaching artist, and performer. His first experience with masks was in the summer of 1979. At 15 years old, he attended a summer conference on clowning at Oberlin College where he had the opportunity to hear Avner Eisenberg, hailed as one of the greatest clowns of all time, speak about the universal qualities the “neutral” mask and what it revealed to the actor.
Reflecting on the indelible experience, Becker recalled, “He put it on, stood for moment in a stillness that created a deafening silence and then, slightly turned his head. In that moment, the world shifted. I saw the mask change, I saw Avner change, I saw the audience change, and I felt the air in the room change.”
He began sculpting masks in 1986 while attending The International School of Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France. Upon his return to the United States, Becker founded Theater-Masks.com, a full service production shop which creates masks for the international theatre community. His masks are currently being use by educational institutions, professional theatres and individual artists. Over the past 16 years, Becker has seen more than 10,000 masks leave the studio for destinations in 45 countries with clients including Disney Theatrical in association with The Lion King, Focus Films, NBC, The Bravo Cable Network and Theater of Enchantment in Philadelphia. You can visit the studio at www.theater-masks.com.
Since 1988, Becker has helped in the development of fifteen original plays. He co-founded and was Co-Artistic Director of two theatre companies: Les Senokrates in Luzern, Switzerland and The Brodeur Brothers in Paris, France. He is a regular guest artist at the International Acting with Masks Program at Olso University College in Oslo, Norway. Currently, Jonathan is the Artistic Director of the North American Laboratory for the Performing Arts. For the past ten years, he has lived and worked in Muncie, IN where he is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Ball State University.
Facing Humanity: A Parade of Masks may also be viewed in the Downtown gallery through the end of September during regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday, 9 am – 3 pm. Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company is located at 224 East Main Street, next door to Muncie Civic Theatre. For more information, call 765-284-8422.