Doug Berky will talk about the art of mask making at the next meeting of the Anderson Artists Guild at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 14, at the Anderson Arts Center.
Currently an artist in residence at Furman University, Berky is known for the theatrical masks he makes. At the meeting, he will be demonstrating his mask-making techniques.
His passion for masks was ignited in 1976 while he was a student at the Dell’Arte School of Mime and Comedy in Blue Lake, California. “Theater students were required to make a mask and create a performance around it,” he said. “I enjoyed the sculpting work and making something out of clay and have it done it ever since.” He tours with a one-man show and often is hired by colleges and universities to create masks for their shows.
He typically casts actors’ faces in clay and makes the mask on top of the clay or creates another mold—and in the case of leather creates a third mold. For the mask, he works with a variety of construction materials, including solvu-set (a fabric infused with plastic), latex, neoprene (latex with a stiffener), paper mâché and leather.
Artists who work in a variety of mediums have been drawn to workshops Berky teaches at the Holly Springs Center near Pickens. “Artists apply the techniques to their own works,” he said. “They might use the techniques to mold and cast if working with clay is applicable or it might be a matter of understanding the human face and emotions and attitudes. There’s no telling what artists will do when they learn something new. Some have rekindled an interest in paper mâché because of how easy and accessible it is and how many ways you can treat it.”
For more information about Doug Berky, visit http://www.dougberkytheatre.com/ and https://dougberkymasks.com/. For information about the Holly Springs Center, visit https://www.hollyspringscenter.com/.