Santa Barbara Museum of Art creates special masks
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is changing the way it integrates art into people’s lives.
To raise money and engage the community, the museum will be making masks that will feature various artworks, many of which can be found within the museum’s collection.
The masks are available for pre-orders starting today at www.sbmastore.net.
In approximately two weeks, patrons will be able to purchase the masks either at the museum store or www.sbmastore.net.
All proceeds will be used to support the museum’s galleries and programs.
Featuring 27,000 works of art, the museum brings world-renowned exhibitions to Santa Barbara and welcomes around 150,000 visitors a year. The museum spends approximately 20% of every dollar on education, serving more than 40,000 people in Santa Barbara County.
The museum also provides community members with free transportation for school groups and after-school activities as well as free California State Standard-based programs for Santa Barbara School Unified School District students.
The museum accomplishes all this while receiving less than 1 percent of its budget from government grants and nothing from tax dollars.
Nicole Meuse, the museum’s head of retail buying and operations, told the News-Press the idea for the masks was mentioned by several people affiliated with the museum right when COVID-19 hit.
The museum and artists spent the last few weeks picking out artwork they would like to feature on the masks.
“The masks just presented us with a lot of options,” Ms. Meuse said. “I think when we are all finished we’re going to have like eight different designs.”
Although the new masks won’t feature any works from local artists, Ms. Meuse said she is looking into creating masks that feature amazing paintings of various Santa Barbara Landscapes.
One of the artists whose work is featured on one of the masks is Jan Tichy, associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Originally from Prague, Mr. Tichy describes himself as a creator and educator.
In 2007, he moved to Chicago to work for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has spent the last year working on two big exhibitions.
Currently working overseas in Germany, Mr. Tichy told the News-Press he is pleased to help because he remains very concerned about society and stresses the importance of wearing masks. He hopes the masks featuring his artwork will be fairly abstract and be something that people will enjoy wearing.
In addition to helping keep people safe as well as to make up for program funding lost by the pandemic, Ms. Meuse said she hopes the masks assist the museum with its mission, which is to “integrate art into the lives of people.”
Although she said the museum has made similar custom items featuring works from their collection before, she said she is very excited to see how well people like the new masks.