Masks Exhibit on Display in Ashford University Gallery

Masks on display through January 27, 2012

“Awakening Masked Rememberings,” an exhibit featuring different styles of masks created by Leah M. Klapperich, director of expressive and therapeutic arts at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI will be on display in Ashford University’s Cortona Art Gallery from Nov. 13, 2011 through Jan. 27, 2012. 

“As an educator with a special interest in expressive and therapeutic arts, I find masks speak of our human need for inner awareness, self-expression and our natural beginnings,” Klapperich said. “Although we often think of masks as a means of concealment, I have found that they often reveal more than they hide. They can ‘unmask’ deeper understandings of ourselves and our connectedness to the natural world. This relationship is often forgotten or ignored in the ordinariness of every day. With awareness, simple twigs and grasses can be seen for the first time, or in a new way. My hope is that these works will arouse and awaken a part of the viewer that is beyond intellect…a deeper, more ancient memory rooted in intuitive awareness and our common ancestry with Earth.”

Most of Klapperich’s masks are first created in clay. Papier maché is then layered over the clay. When dry, the papier maché shell is removed and completed with layers of sand and natural materials. A few of the masks are built from gourds.

The artist began her exploration of masks while studying the relationship of the arts and human consciousness at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA. She currently teaches art and coordinates the expressive and therapeutic arts at Marian University.

Her love of the natural world is shared by her ornithologist husband, Bill Mueller, and daughter Hannah. Her work may be viewed at

A reception for the artist will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2012 in the art gallery.



About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (  The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus.  The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs.  For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.