Teri Tynes is an artist, musician, and freelance writer and critic specializing in visual culture. Shortly after moving to Columbia in 1997, the Texas native joined the staff of the alternative weekly, Free Times, where she served as arts editor and then editor. Since the fall of 2000 she has worked as an editor for a scholarly literary publishing house (Bruccoli Clark & Layman) and then as gallery director for City Art. While at City Art she curated and organized special exhibitions, including solo shows of Tarleton Blackwell, Preston Orr, Philip Mullen, Phil Garrett, Mary Robinson, Scotty Peek, and Michael Brodeur, among others, and she founded the gallery's annual exhibit School's Out: Emerging Artists of the Southeast. Tynes's critical articles and reviews pieces have appeared in the bimonthly arts magazine ArtPapers. She is currently a lecturer in USC's Department of Art, teaching topics in contemporary art history.

Artist's Statement

"In the fall of 2002, while exploring the mysterious streets of Venice, Italy, I came upon the Ca’ Macana mask shop. The shop, as it turns out, had established itself as one of the most elite mask shops in Venice, creating the masks for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, among other films, and serving as the site for the revival of Venice’s Carnevale, the pre-Lenten festival. Carnevale and the wearing of masks, I learned, had fallen out of practice in Venetian life for over two hundred years (beginning with Venice’s decline as a world power during the 18th century), and not revived until the late 1970s. This recent revival encouraged research into the older Venetian craft of maskmaking, and shops such as Ca’ Macana served as sites for historical and creative exploration.

These particular masks are based on traditional plaster cast and papier-maché methods, and as such are the product of a fairly laborious, sometimes accident-prone but always entertaining process. In adopting the maskmaking process to my own background and circumstances, I decided to base the forms not on Venetian symbols (although the cat is common there also) but on what was most readily available to me at hand. Therefore, my pets served as the inspiration for these masks – in particular the noble visages of Fox Trotsky (a pixie-like fox terrier), Shantih Bear Bear (an exceptionally glamorous large dog of diverse heritage), and Winston (a distinguished elderly tabby)."