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On March 20, Youth Insights Artists were in the studio putting the finishing touches on the costume project we have been doing with Artist-in-Residence Dave McKenzie. The idea behind the project is for us to express a deeper side of ourselves. The costume, which has to include a mask, needs to portray an aspect of our character. It might show that you are outgoing or timid, represent a sport or type of music that you like, or display a message you want to send about your views on the world. We had a lot of freedom of how to create our mask and complete costume, and we ended up with a range, from basic to quite intricate. After spending the beginning of the session designing, sewing, and hot gluing, we presented our finished projects to the group.
We all put our masks and costumes on and explained their message. Simon’s costume was a white T-shirt with a big pocket, which he designed and sewed himself out of an old dropcloth. It was simple, but it had both elegance and a practical purpose. Lucy’s costume was a feathery dance outfit, which represented herself as a dancer, colorful and outgoing. Zeus brought in a picture of himself in Muay Thai gear, with a white mask, ready for a fight. Lisa dressed up as a 1950s housewife with a brick wall design painted on her mask. She explained to us that her costume was intended to show how women of that era weren’t seen as anything more human than that—a wall. My costume was a mask with a fire painted on it, and it incorporated the head of a stuffed bunny, representing how even the most innocent things have a dangerous dark side. Other people are still left to present, but so far, all the costumes have been well-designed, and the messages they portray about their makers are interesting and unique.
By Anna, Youth Insights Artist