Kimberly Callas, assistant professor in the department of Art and Design, presented her work and student work as an invited speaker at Women and Masks, a national transdisciplinary conference held at Boston University on April 24. Student participants included Bianca Beltran, Shelby Brodhead, Sofia Dominguez, Natalie Hayden, Jenna Lawson, Lindsay Mohlmann, Isabella O Neill, Kayla Panaro, Lillian Pardey, and Mindy Penelli.
Callas describes her presentation, “COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis,” a radical call to see ourselves differently – especially because masks have been a big part of our lives over the last two years. “Masks not only disguise or protect, masks also offer us a portal to a new self, an opportunity for transformation,” she said.
In her social practice project, Discovering the Ecological Self, Callas works with participants to identify personal and culturally significant nature-based symbols, patterns and images that are then used to create eco-self portrait masks. Students in AR 231, Eco Art, took part in the project and created their own masks. Callas said that in a creative move all their own, the students also created a series of eco masks for various trees on campus to raise attention about deforestation. This work was also presented at the conference.
Callas is the artist-in-residence for the Urban Coast Institute. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums and has received national and international grants and awards. In 2020, she received 1st place award in sculpture at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club’s Annual Exhibit in New York City. Her work has appeared recently in “Post Human: New Media Art 2020” by CICA Press, the “Huffington Post,” and “Art New England.”