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The Experience of Masking at UNCA’s S. Tucker Cooke Gallery

Branded As Such (Plausibility)

On Friday, December 7, a photo exhibition by BFA student Shawn Winebrenner will open at the
S. Tucker Cooke Gallery on the UNCA campus. Ad Lucem: Masking and the Resilence of a Human Spirit will be on display at the gallery through Saturday, December 15. The gallery will host an opening reception from 6–8 p.m. on December 7. “I’ve spent a great deal of my life masking and modifying my true emotions and behavior in order to to feel safe and to make others around me feel comfortable,” says Winebrenner. “It’s a process I know very well and one I feel others can also relate to. As part of my artistic process, it’s been important for me to take the opportunity to visually represent my own personal experiences of masking. I do this for cathartic reasons, to further process where I’ve been emotionally, but also to better learn how to become the best, most authentic version of me.”

Winebrenner says he’d like for his audience to walk away with an understanding of the healing power of art after seeing his images. “I’ve used photography as my preferred medium to translate my own past relationships with fear, disappointment, and pain into a body of work that speaks to the beauty of the struggle,” he says. “It’s been a way for me to acknowledge that even though some of my former behaviors may not have been beneficial, I now have a new approach that allows me to authentically thrive as an individual—moving me from darkness into the light: Ad Lucem.”

The S. Tucker Cooke Gallery is located in Owen Hall at 100 Theatre Lane on the UNCA campus. For more information, visit

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