Masks Project 2015

Fort Collins Museum of Art

April 3 – May 1, 2015

  • Open admission day: Friday, April 10 (sponsored by Guaranty Bank and Trust)
Kaufman Matt

For the 11th year, the Fort Collins Museum of Art’s Masks Project has attracted both professional artists, whose creativity is their economic main stay and recreational artists, who respond to their need to express their creativeness in ingenious styles. The result is an exhibition of 200 pieces of unconventional art opening during the First Friday Gallery Walk, April 3.

Masks originated in 2003 as fund-raising event for the Museum. It now encompasses the popular exhibition, the celebratory Masks Grand Gala, and a tribute to the 2015 Honorary Chairs, Don and Donna Beard. These components provide a significant portion of the Museum’s operating budget as well as an engaging community art event.

Lisa Hatchadoorian, Executive Director for the Fort Collins Museum of Art, says of Masks, “This is my first Masks experience, and I will say it is overwhelming and wonderful. The project brings together artists and a community eager to explore and experience the world of art in an entirely appealing project.

“We deeply appreciate the contributions of our artist community – mostly from Fort Collins and surrounding cities – as well as the support of our sponsors,” she continued. “The beginning of each completed mask is a relatively simple clay template designed by Molly Babcock, an art teacher in the Poudre School District. Adding much time and talent, our artists donate their work to the museum to be sold through silent and live auctions.” New for this year is online bidding for the silent Masks auction. “Online bidding,” says Gloria Boresen, “will give more people a chance to win the bid for their favorite mask. It also offers people who can’t experience Masks in person the exciting prospect of buying a mask.”

Over its 11-year history Masks has contributed more than a million dollars to the museum’s operating and exhibitions budget. “As major sponsors of Masks, Kaiser Permanente, Banner Health, the Eye Center of Northern Colorado, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Mawson Lumber, ReMAX Advanced, EKS&H and the Sleep Store,” says De Dahlgren, Resource Development Director for the museum and chair of Masks 2015, “have provided the substantial foundation on which Masks has been built. Through their support, funding has been available to bring significant exhibitions, such as Andy Warhol, Dale Chihuily and Ansel Adams, to Fort Collins.”

The 2015 Masks Project also pays tribute to two individuals who have made significant contributions to the Fort Collins Museum of Art as well as the Fort Collins community. Don and Donna Beard are being honored at events throughout the Masks. At the Grand Gala, special tribute will be paid to them as they announce the project to which monies raised in their name will be dedicated.

Don, a Fort Collins pediatrician, founded The Youth Clinic in 1964. Among other community involvements he served on the museum’s board. Donna, an accomplished stained glass artist, has served on the boards of United Way, Fort Collins Arts and Humanities Council, Parks and Recreation Board, Lincoln Center, and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.

This year’s Masks exhibition and silent auction open April 3 and continue through May 1. Both the opening and closing events, which run from 6-9 p.m., coincide with Fort Collins’ monthly First Friday Art Walks in Old Town. The Eye Center of Northern Colorado hosts First Friday events at the museum providing open admission during the Gallery Walk.

The exhibition’s regular ticket prices are $5 for adults; $4 for students with ID and for ages 65 and older; $1 for youth 6-17; members and children under 6 are free. Museum hours are Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m.; Mon.-Tues., FCMOA is closed. The museum is located at 201 S. College in the historic Museum of Art Building in the center of Old Town. For more information about Masks and upcoming exhibitions at the Fort Collins Museum of Art, visit