BOSTON — In an unprecedented year that called for mask use to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a former Massachusetts College of Art and Design student, Julie Lam, created a competition for students to show off their skills.
MASKART, a contest for MassArt students, “celebrates how masks can communicate love, respect, and express our feelings during this strange time.”
After reviewing twenty-five entries for the contest, winners were selected.
Emily Moughan’s “Wildflower Memories” was selected for the Jury-Selected Prize of $2,000.
Since I was little I loved flowers. At my childhood home, we used to have these lovely tulips and daffodils intertwined with our yard’s wood line. In the spring, they would bloom and my mom would have us pose with the flowers for little photoshoots. We still have the framed black and white photos of me and my sister smelling the flowers hanging up in our house. My mother died when I was younger, and this flower photoshoot memory is one of the few things I remember about spending time with her. I think It’s why I have such a strong connection to flowers. They make me happy and bring back old memories. With this mask contest, I wanted my mask to be based upon a happy thought. Masks generally bring up sad emotions due to them being related to COVID-19. And while we should not forget the reason for wearing them, I believe that we should keep a positive attitude and let the happiest parts of ourselves shine through them. Staying positive in dark times is more important than most of us realize. It improves health and your overall well being. This wildflower mask represents the happiest parts of me. I hope it shows you, and those who see it, my outlook on life.— Emily Moughan
Bobbi Colburn’s “Let Us Breathe” was selected for the Public Vote Prize of $1,000.
Black America is facing two different pandemics. COVID-19 and institutional racism. The words “Let Us Breathe.” are stenciled and spray painted onto the fabric in reference to the final words of George Floyd and Eric Garner. On the opposite side is the black power fist. It features leather straps which can be tied behind the head to avoid pulling around the ears.— Bobbi Colburn
Five additional awards of $200 were given to students for craftsmanship, artistic presentation, mask awareness and marketability, functionality in design and design innovation.
The competition was created by alumna Julie Lam and her husband Kapil Mathur. Lam hoped the mask design contest would help showcase the talent of students while raising awareness for mask-wearing among young people.
Lam also started MaskTogetherAmerica, a social media mask awareness campaign, by taking photos of people wearing masks and posting their portraits. The project is seeking to create a mask advocacy community on social media.
You can see all of the contest submissions here.
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