Friday, June 6, 2008

Behind the Mask: Artist’s Opening Reception at The Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine

Freeport, Maine – Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

The Beadin’ Path in Freeport issued a challenge to beadwork and fiber artists from all over the world: to accept, be inspired by and submit a mask for a show entitled ‘Behind the Mask’. Over 50 artists answered the call and joined in this challenge, creating beaded masks using varying techniques such as bead weaving, stitching and embroidery, sculpture, mixed media, clay and more. An opening reception will be held at The Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine on Friday, June 27th from 5-8pm. It is open to the public and is a great opportunity to meet with many of the artists and discuss their process and statement behind their mask.

Behind the Mask is The Beadin’ Path’s 2nd large scale ‘Bead Challenge’ featuring a call for submissions. In 2007, beaded dolls were submitted with the common theme entitled ‘Beyond Make-Believe’. In both challenges, calls for submission were put out in the Freeport store and online at and various beading Yahoo Group sites, yielding bead and fiber art talent from within the US and 7 other countries. Debra Ward, a local fiber and bead artist of Green Maine, organizes the annual Bead Challenges for The Beadin’ Path.

Participating fiber artist, Aryd’ell Hotelling of Bryson City, North Carolina says of the process, "The Mask started out first as just something to reflect Beauty, as many of my beaded art dolls do. Then it took a slightly different direction, wanting to reflect and enhance understanding of how the face reveals (one’s) emotions, through bead(s)...". Many of the artists collaborated and bounced ideas off of each other, including technique and inspiration, using a Yahoo online forum specifically for challenge participants.

The Beadin’ Path is a bead company based in Freeport, Maine with a website at Offering an open studio and lots of inspiration to jewelry designers and bead artists alike, The Beadin’ Path offers a full class schedule, free demos in the shop, as well as various in-store events and activities. Importers, collectors, and over all hoarders, The Beadin’ Path is an industry leader in vintage beads including vintage Lucite, old and rare Swarovski crystals, vintage glass beads, and other scarce and collectible beads.

‘Behind the Mask’ will be on display and open to the public from June 27th – July 27th, 2008 during store hours which are 9:30-7pm daily. You can also view images of the exhibition once the show closes, after July 27th at

Photo: Mask by Debbie Williams of Maine