Louisiana State Exhibit Museum photo by Jim Noetzel.
Dennis Beckman has been very busy. Not only is he King XXIV of the Krewe of Highland – being Mardi Gras royalty can be as demanding as a full-time job (granted, it’s a fun job) – but he’s also overseeing the completion and installation of The Enchanting World of Fantasy Masks, a huge exhibit of elaborate, custom-made masks that will open on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. The exhibit’s opening reception will take place, 2-4 p.m., on Sunday. Admission is free, there’ll be free king cake samplings, and guests can take photos of themselves wearing some of the artist’s masks.
Beckman grew up in Shreveport before moving to San Francisco, where he has been creating fantasy masks for something like 40 years. The 65 masks that will be on display at Louisiana State Exhibit Museum through Fat Tuesday are all one-of-a-kind creations, each being the product of weeks of material gathering and construction.
“I collect materials continually. I have hundreds of thousands of materials,” Beckman said. “I’ll get a concept for a mask, and then I’ll start locating the materials, and that process alone may take weeks.”
The masks that will be displayed in the exhibit are for sale, although any masks that are purchased must remain on display through the end of the exhibit on Fat Tuesday. During Sunday’s reception, attendees can take photos of themselves wearing masks that aren’t featured in the show.
The exhibit is a neat opportunity to peek behind the curtains of the Mardi Gras season and get a glimpse of how masks reflect the identity of both the wearer and the mask maker. It’s also a fun, free opportunity to welcome the pageantry, color, and curiosities of Carnival 2019 in Shreveport-Bossier.
Like the Friends of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum page on Facebook.
Enter the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s Mardi Gras getaway giveaway.
Get more information on upcoming Mardi Gras parades and events in Shreveport-Bossier.