Visitors will enter a world of native Costa Rican art at the 15th annual Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibit and sale at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Guests will experience the vibrant, hand-carved and painted balsa wood masks showcased in the Museum of Botany & The Arts at Selby Gardens. The exhibit will be open for visitors Jan. 6 through Jan. 27, 2019. The works of ten top painters, plus six top carvers will be represented.
The Rainforest Mask exhibit and sale showcases artists from the Borucan Indian tribe of Costa Rica. The masks were originally created hundreds of years ago to scare away Spanish invaders and have since become celebrated works of art. The majority of the talented residents of the Borucan Village make their living as mask and textile artisans. The masks combine the talents of wood carving artists and skilled painters, leading to an eye-catching and dynamic display of two distinct artistic traditions, while also serving as a representation of the culture and its history.
“The masks are a reflection of the history of the Borucan Indian tribe, while also being collectible works of art. The creation of these masks has continued for generations, and having this collection annually at Selby Gardens gives our visitors the opportunity to bring these stories into their homes,” explained Jeannie Perales, Vice President for Museum Exhibits, Learning & Engagement.
Additional events surrounding the exhibit:
- Ticketed Opening Reception, Jan. 5, 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.: Private viewing and sale before the exhibit opens to the general public. Reserve a seat at selby.org.
- Mask Making Class with Borucan Artists, Jan. 7, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.: Celebrate the mask making traditions of the Borucan Indians of Costa Rica while painting along with one of the visiting artists. Reserve a seat at selby.org.
- Botanical Briefing Lecture, Jan. 9, noon–1 p.m.: Borucan Artists of Today and their Evolving Art with Alessandra Bravo and Don Blackowiak of Lucuma Designs. Included with general admissions.
- Meet the Artists Jan. 6 from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Jan. 8 from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m., Jan 10 from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m., Jan 12 from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m. and Jan 13 from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m.: Visit Marco and Esteban as they paint and carve masks in the museum galleries.
The exhibit is free with general admission to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and proceeds from the mask sales provide financial support to the Borucan Village and support the Gardens’ mission and scientific work. The Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase the Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibit Jan. –27, 2019, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily. Masks on display are also available for purchase. Those wishing to view and purchase masks before Gardens’ guests can purchase a ticket for the Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica Opening Reception on Jan. 5, 2019, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Visit www.selby.org for more details and to purchase tickets.
About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic plants such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns and other tropical plants, with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas. Regular admission is $20 and $10 children ages 4-17; members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org. Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.