Jessie Wilber Gallery
Slyvae [Of the Forest]
By Youpa Stein
This fall, the Jessie Wilber Gallery is showcasing the work of Missoula artist Youpa Stein. Slyvae [Of the Forest] features several hand-made masks, meticulously crafted from materials gathered from the forest including tree bark, moss, and wasp paper. A few man-made materials such as metal and wire are also incorporated into the works.
Youpa has been making masks for twenty-three years. After completing her first plaster bandage mask in graduate school, she was overwhelmed with feelings of curiosity, wonder and power. “I was holding a cast of my own face, which invited me on a journey of reflection and inquiry”. While finishing her course work, she continued to create masks that reflected her personal emotions at that time. She found an enlivening form of connection to self that gave her freedom to externalize her mental processes and move forward.
She spent the next few years making masks for various theater productions and dance performances before graduating with her Masters of Arts degree in Psychology/ Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Slyvae [Of the Forest] is the featured exhibit for this year’s fall “Schools in the Gallery” exhibit tour program. We invite public schools, private groups, homeschoolers and University students to book an interactive, docent led tour that develops art, observation and communication skills. An optional hands-on activity follows the tour in which students will create their own artwork based on techniques and ideas from the exhibit.