The popular exhibit of decorative masks created by the Native Americans of Costa Rica returns to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens this March.
An all-new collection of the hand-carved and colorfully-painted masks by the Borucan Indians of Costa Rica will be on display at Selby Gardens beginning March 11. This is the 12th year of the exhibition and sale that is hosted in the Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts in historic Payne Mansion on Sarasota Bay. It runs through April 22. An opening reception will be held Thursday, March 10 at 5:30pm.
The mask carving began centuries ago when the Costa Rican natives needed a way to protect themselves against invading conquistadors. Using the wood from Balsa and Cedar trees abundant throughout the Central American country, the Borucans began carving ornate, menacing masks with malevolent spirits, known as Diablitos, to frighten the invaders. Many of the artists today are descended from the original mask carver families.
Guests will have the rare opportunity to purchase these highly collectable, ecological works of art. Proceeds from the mask sales provide valuable financial support to the Borucan village and support the Gardens’ mission and scientific work.
The opening reception on March 10 is $25 for Members of Selby Gardens and $35 for Guests. The exhibit is free with regular admission to Selby Gardens. Exhibit programming includes:
- Opening Night Reception on March 10, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Lecture: History of the Masks, March 16: Noon – 1 p.m.
- Mask Painting Class, March 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Meet the Artists: Sessions are held 1 – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sundays on March 12- 13 & March 19 – 20.
For additional information please visit www.selby.org, or call 941-366-5731.
About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and 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, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $19 (ages 12 and up), ages 4-11 $6, Members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org.