ABOUT MASK ARTISTRY
About Stephanie Campbell
(BA in Art, University of Northern Colorado, 1972; Double MFA in Theatre Acting/Directing, University of Arizona, 1983)
I have been so fortunate to be able to embrace my passion for masks in two areas of expression: theatre and art. On the theatre side, I became an international Mask Methods specialist after many years of work as a theatre professor, an actress, stage director and improvisational comedy artist. I have researched uses and application of mask work worldwide and offer an easily understood process of Character Creation through Mask Exploration workshop series. I am recently retired from 33 years of teaching theatre at Montana State University and am now also exploring the artistic side of mask creation in my Mask Artistry artwork.
The artistic expression of mask creation in MASK ARTISTRY has been a full-circle process of monumental proportions for me. Birthed from 35 years of the theatrical Character Creation Workshops I have led, and the gathering of African masks on my research and teaching assignments in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa, I now offer my Mask Artistry creations as a visual artist. My mask performance work has been about calling others to self-awareness through the use of mask characterization, and that work now extends in an artistic, visual form of expression through my creation of artistic mask personas. Entwined within this process is my Shamanic practice, a communication bridging our relationship with what indigenous people call "the Great Spirit." This practice has brought me into deeper relationship with Sacred Mystery and has influenced my current artistic explorations; it is evident in the (currently) 40 different masks I have created, in a Mask Artistry gathering entitled "Faces of the Elements."
About The Masks
Theatre MASKS, with their multitude of transformative properties, embody endless possibilities for Character Creation. Within any one of my MASK EXPLORATION WORKSHOPS, the energetic process begins with the simple act of choosing and donning a mask and continues with a series of detailed exploratory exercises for full Character Creation.
Although the process was primarily first designed for actors and students in actor training programs, it is are equally as applicable for teacher training, non-actor groups involved with Community Groups, and for those seeking the benefits of Drama Therapy, Psychodrama, or mutual aid/self help group exploration. I offer both the theatre workshops and the 10/15 sets of character creation masks on this website.
I offer the individual MASK ARTISTY pieces of mask art as an honoring of the natural elemental composition of WHO WE ARE within the Family of Humanity.
Each is an investigation of our shared emotions, mental constructs, physical shapes and forms, and our spiritual connections with the Non-Ordinary Spirit Realm. Each is an invitation to go within, to explore the facets of humanity we wear as our personal or collective mask personas. And each honors our Terra Firma, our Mother Nature, as the materials used are all natural found objects, with bases of natural wood, stone, or bone. I invite you to gaze at them, and discover, for yourself, what each one might mean to you.
Kenya National Theatre