Rainforest Masks of the Borucan Indians of Costa Rica
Selby’s Museum of Botany & the Arts hosts “Rainforest Masks 2011”, from March 4 to April 15. This annual exhibition celebrating the traditional art of the people of Boruca, Costa Rica, is now in its seventh year and has become the most anticipated display in Selby’s exhibition schedule. Gardens members and visitors return each spring to enjoy an event that relates closely to the Garden’s mission and vision. Covered with images of orchids, bromeliads and a myriad of other tropical plants and animals, the masks inspire the appreciation of the rich, colorful flora and fauna of the artists’ native rainforest.
The master carvers live and work in a reserve located in southwestern Costa Rica. They continue to use simple tools passed down through generations to carve these intricate works, painting them in the brilliant palette of the tropical setting that inspires them.
The “Diablito” masks which inspire today’s artists were originally created and worn to scare unwelcome invaders back to Spain in the 16th century. In addition to “Diablito” masks, contemporary Borucan artisans have created another style of mask known as “Ecologico,” which often includes the face of a shaman, or protector of the rainforest. A third style known as the “Combinado” mask includes elements of both. The exhibit also includes a few traditional ceremony masks such as those still worn in their annual festival.
More than fifteen artists contributed their talents and creations to this year’s exhibit.
The Borucans will demonstrate their carving and painting during four “Meet the Artists” sessions in the Museum of Botany and the Arts on Saturdays and Sundays, March 5, 6, 12 & 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Spanish interpreters will be available to translate your questions.
Paint an authentic rainforest mask of your own alongside a Borucan artist. Register in advance for this mask painting class on March 9, from 10 am to 2 pm. For more information and to register, visit the website.
Rainforest Mask Exhibit paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.