Recommended: Masks at MoA, More NOCO Art

Mask by Brooke Fetissoff (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)



Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


You don’t have to go far to see the stunning diversity of creativity that happens when one thing becomes hundreds.

The one thing is a white clay mask. Copies of that get distributed to scores of NOCO artists of all stripes, along with the challenge to let the creativity flow.

Mask by Daniel Dean (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The result, when these masks are collected back together again, is a tsunami of colors, textures, and concepts that pay tribute to the bright, busy, and incredibly clever artistic talent we have in our community.

I’m talking about the annual Masks Fundraiser & Exhibition that has just opened at the Museum of Art Fort Collins. More than two hundred NOCO artists took up the “white clay mask” challenge this year, and MoAFC’s galleries are currently stuffed with artwork that rocks.

Mask by Heather Shepherd (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The Museum of Art Fort Collins is housed in that stately old Post Office building at 201 S. College — right next to Oak Street Plaza in the downtown area. The “Masks Fundraiser” is an annual benefit effort by NOCO artists to keep it there.

There’s a full catalog of the masks in the 2023 exhibit, and patrons are encouraged to bid on favorites in the online auction. But my recommendation is to go in person and see this collection of homegrown art in all its glory.

Mask by Donald Langren (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Yes — there’s glory here with this very rich collection of pieces that just pop right off of the wall, one after another. From Poseidon to mushroom people, bugs to gargoyles, the Bard to Grogu, heads sprouting butterflies to faces luxuriously covered by a flow of colors, each mask in this exhibit is different and unique — as unique as each artist.

What you may find is that there is so much to see, it may take more than one visit.

The making of a mask photo essay at MoA (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

 Fortunately, there’s some time — The “Masks Fundraiser & Exhibition” continues until the end of the online auction on May 5. Also at MoAFC: “Naida Seibel: Celebration of an Artist.” Find more info at

GAMA: I also checked in recently with the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art (GAMA) at CSU’s University Center for the Arts and found three new exhibits.

From Kei Ito’s ‘Eye Who Witnessed’ at GAMA (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Most arresting was Kei Ito’s “The Beginning, in the land around me,” a multimedia and multi-dimensional collection of pieces standing up to nuclear weapons use — including two impossibly long scrolls detailing all of the years of nuclear testing — and warfare in general. This show runs now through April 2.

Also at GAMA is “The Glade Series,” featuring prints by Ron Kroutel, which detail the landscapes of Northern Colorado, particularly in the area of the proposed Glade Reservoir. He calls them “a form of pre-nostalgia” for a spot that could soon be underwater due to the water project, now through April 30.

Micrologies at GAMA (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Kroutel will join poet Mark Irwin for “Time, Memory, & the Use of Materials: Poetry & Art in Conversation” at the Robert W. Hoffert Learning Center on April 6, in conjunction with “The Glade Series” show.

GAMA is also hosting another exhibit, “Micrologies,” a group show answering the challenge of making art that is no bigger than a Rubik’s Cube, now through July 2.

All of that is in addition to permanent collections with a wide range of art. GAMA, located on the first floor of the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington, is free and open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays.

View “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” – including “Masks Exhibition 2023 MoAFC” with an original soundtrack by OoB: Opposite of Blink — on YouTube.


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