mask making workshop & artist retreat

Grotesques and  Caricature Masks - a very ugly or comically distorted figure, creature or image


project-designing and building paper mache wall hanging face masks


Participants will gain knowledge in creating a 3D form in the tradition of mask making. Designs can be influenced by New Orleans Mardi Gras, Medieval Gargoyles or 19th century caricatures. They will learn to use paper mache to create a highly detailed wall hanging face mask.


Jim Biglan's expertise in this medium includes over 30 years of paper mache sculpturing. Biglan spent 10 years living in New Orleans making masks and sculptures for Mardi gras. Many of these works were shown and sold at Peligro Gallery in the French Quarter. He continues to make masks and sculptures for Halloween every year. Biglan has also taught this medium during his 22 year high school teaching career.

course information:

time: 3 day artist retreat & workshop
level: beginner to advanced
cost: $375, which includes all materials, paints, etc. and also includes full room & board for 2 nights plus artist plein air excursion


Workshop only fees available upon request.

facilitator: jim biglan

artist statement


At a quick glance my artwork may seem silly, perverse or intense but after careful study joy, tenderness and humor is also revealed. This duality and contradiction interests me in art and life. I express these themes through the use of figurative expressionism and intimate symbols. Visually my artwork has a raw style that suits both the content of the work and my personality. I enjoy working quickly and directly because it helps release imagery in a simple, honest manner. My process often starts off very conceptual. I will write and sketch out a variety of ideas. I also like to explore many different materials and techniques within single works of art. I want my artwork to have both a strong narrative element combined with a visceral use of materials, mark making and surface quality.


Though I try to avoid a tedious process this does not mean I want to present simple pictures. I hope the viewer will often discover double meanings, hidden details and surprising outcomes within each artwork. I am most interested in artists and artwork that that explores humor and existential angst in their work. Some of these would include Goya, Philip Guston, Jean Dubuffet, Kiki Smith and many more.


My masks and sculptures allow me to explore characters from my paintings and doodles in a three-dimensional format. After spending a decade in New Orleans I developed a real love for wearing and building masks. These masks express similar themes as the paintings but tend to rely more on planning and craftsmanship. Most of my sculptures are now meant for wall hanging but some have actually been worn for celebrations like Mardi Gras and Halloween.


more information about the facilitator:

© 2019 by ANNEX:art 

P.O. Box 117 San Fidel, New Mexico 87049