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Exhibit Showcasing Symbolism of Face-Coverings to Benefit Carnegie

A new exhibition at Pendleton Street Photography in Cincinnati will examine the symbolism of face-coverings as businesses, organizations, and social venues continue to reopen in phases amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Masks We Wear" is curated by Ena M. Nearon and features pieces from the collection of Sara M. Vance Waddell.

It opens Friday, July 31 and runs through Thursday, September 10.

“I am both proud and honored to accept the mantle of curating this memorable exhibit developed out of the pain and confusion of a world shut-down, exhibiting through the paradoxical rise of art and beauty,” said Nearon. 

The issue of face masks has become politicized in recent weeks, though health officials at all levels suggest that more widespread mask usage would help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

“The pandemic affected me in different ways. To cope, I started collecting masks that were made for protection as many of them were rather cool. I wanted to collect a few and have an exhibition,” said Vance Waddell. “So many artists and designers were making really creative and sculptural ones I found myself obsessed with actively collecting them from all over the world. At this time there are a little over 60 in the collection.”

Pendleton Street Photography is hosting an opening reception for "The Masks We Wear" in partnership with The Pendleton Art Center’s Final Friday studio walk on July 31 from 5-9 p.m. While Final Friday is free and open to the public, a suggested $10 donation is requested to benefit The Carnegie in Covington.

Upon receipt of donation, visitors will be automatically be entered to win a one-of-a-kind raffle that includes an artist’s original mask, limited edition silkscreen print series (three in total) entitled ELEMENTS by M. Katherine Hurley and custom framing provided by Art Design Consultants.

“The Carnegie, like many arts organizations throughout our region, has been navigating what the future looks like as we pivot our programming, exhibitions and performances in the era of COVID-19,” said Carnegie Executive Director Kim Best. “We are thankful for Sara, Ena and Jens Rosenkrantz for their support of the Carnegie and for making the opening reception of this exhibition a benefit to assist our organization.”

The exhibition features the contemporary mask collection of Sara M. Vance Waddell, including a recently commissioned piece inspired by the national Black Lives Matter protests by fabric artist Carolyn Crump of Houston, selected pieces by Tina Gutierrez, co-producer of the Scarecorona porch art installations in Northside, and cast face masks by Leslie Daly.

For more information about "The Masks We Wear", visit Pendleton Street Photography’s Facebook page.

-Staff report