Albino Pineda’s unique masks focus of solo exhibit at El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: October 19, 2012
Albino Pineda’s unique masks crafted from palm fronds will be featured in a special exhibit at El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church on October 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Masks are very much on the minds of many this time of the year, but it’s not Halloween or the Day of the Dead celebration that is the focus of an exhibit of folk art ma2sks created by Albino Pineda.
Pineda’s unique masks crafted from palm fronds will be featured in a special exhibit at El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church on October 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church is located at 1029 E. Santa Paula St., and Pineda’s exhibit will be in the social hall where free refreshments will be served.
This is Pineda’s first large exhibit of the masks he has been creating for about two years, an artistic pursuit that started when he was trimming palm trees on his Santa Paula property. Pineda said he was suddenly struck by the texture of the frond, and then he saw a nose, followed by eyes and other features of man or beast.
That moment became an instant career for Pineda, who became an artist whose primary medium is palm fronds used to create masks, including those that are brightly decorated with other accessories mostly provided by nature. He has created dozens of the masks - ranging from elephants and cats and Mardi Gras to those resembling Jesus and Cleopatra to African tribesmen and clowns and the devil - using what he describes as his best tool, a hacksaw that he supplements with healthy doses of drilling, woodcarving and sandpapering.
Actually, Pineda’s best tool is his imagination. Some masks sport hair made of corn silk or twine, clever bottle cap teeth, seeds for eyes, and layered cuttings from the frond itself for special touches, among other materials he incorporates into his art.
Pineda does probably one mask a day, sometimes two, and fronds that don’t inspire his love of faces are left in their natural shape, decorated with bright flowers against colored backgrounds, or sometimes dusted with a sprinkling of glitter.
Although earlier this year Pineda debuted his art to family and friends at a barbecue, he waited to show his work publicly until later this month at El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church. And, he noted, “If people want to purchase some of the masks... sold!”