SARASOTA, FLA. – December 29, 2020: For the 18th consecutive year, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) will exhibit the Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica in the Museum of Botany & the Arts at the Downtown Sarasota campus. Guests to the exhibition will experience the vibrant, hand-carved and painted balsa wood masks and have the opportunity to purchase the masks.
The Rainforest Mask exhibit and sale showcases artists from the Borucan Indian tribe of Costa Rica. Originally created hundreds of years ago to defend against Spanish invaders, the masks 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 a dynamic display of two distinct artistic traditions.
“We are so excited to be able to offer this exhibition this year, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Jeannie Perales, Vice President for Museum Exhibits, Learning & Engagement. “Although the artists are not able to join us this year, this partnership allows us to introduce the Borucan culture to our audiences.”
Additional events surrounding the exhibit:
Ticketed Opening Reception, Friday, January 8, 2021. There are two time options to participate in the preview and sale before it opens to the general public. Occupancy at both will be limited. Pre-purchased tickets are required. Tickets can be purchased at selby.org.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$50 for Selby Gardens’ Members and $60 for non-members
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
$25 for Selby Gardens’ Members and $30 for non-members.
As the Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibition highlights and celebrates the people and culture of Boruca, Selby Gardens’ January EcoFlora EcoQuest Challenge (monthly challenges encouraging citizens to hunt for a particular genus or species to document on the inaturalist app platform) will focus on highlighting and celebrating Florida’s native plants and peoples.
The exhibit is included with general admission to Selby Gardens and proceeds from the mask sales provide financial support to the Borucan Village with a significant portion of proceeds benefiting Selby Gardens’ education, research, horticulture, and scientific work. Visit selby.org for more details and to purchase tickets.