Transforming student faces into works of art, through storytelling and theater makeup captivated Lanigan Elementary peers during a recent presentation of Christopher Agostino’s “Story Faces.”
Agostino shared with Lanigan students that his storytelling mask adaptions piggybacked off work from traditional mask makers who wanted to tell animated stories. During his first story of “The Secret of the Fire,” Agostino transformed fourth-grader Gavin Cox’s face into a wide-mouthed shark with sharp teeth.
“He’s now in the story,” the guest presenter said. “Before there were books, this was the language- art. Before spoken language, there was visual language.”
He also shared with students the history of mask makers and art, as he said painted seashells, painted people and use of symbols to communicate were all early forms of storytelling through art. All artists, including mask makers and those who use theater makeup as he does, create identifies when telling their stories with color, blending, lines and shapes.
Several students volunteered to have their faces painted, while the remaining students in the audience cheered with each painted face reveal during his stories of “Two Lizards on Four Faces” and “The Legend of the Haunted Bridge,” among others.
Perhaps the biggest lesson of all was Agostino’s encouragement of students to find their passion and let it drive their educational adventure.