Denver Arts & Venues (DAV) invites artists to submit artworks or proposals for artwork to be featured in “Masks of Africa: Classic and Contemporary.”

Masks of Africa: Classic and Contemporary will be on display at the McNichols Civic Center Building Feb. 4-April 28. Featuring a selection of African masks from Bruce Heitler's vast collection, this exhibition showcases masks from several indigenous African groups including Ana, Bamana, Bamileke, Bassa, Baule, Bembe, Bene Lulua, Benin, Bobo, Bwa, Chokwe, Dan, Dogon, Fang, Punu and Teke, some more than a century old. The pieces highlight the varied artistic styles culturally specific to each group of African indigenous peoples.

Denver Arts & Venues invites contemporary artists to submit their proposals for new works or existing arts to be considered for exhibit as modern counterparts to the historical pieces in “Masks of Africa.” If selected, these works will be showcased as companions to the traditional masks on display. 

“The powerful expressiveness of the African mask is undeniable,” explains Denver Arts & Venues curator Shanna Shelby. “There is something about the human element of the masks that draws us to them, and the African mask influence can be seen in many artistic movements, from Cubism to Expressionism. We are excited to see how contemporary artists respond to this ageless artform.”

Proposals will be accepted through Dec. 17, 2023. Artists should respond to the traditional mask artform and artworks should serve as modern counterparts to these historical pieces. Selected artists will be notified by Dec. 20 and will be provided an honorarium for their work. Artists may submit works for consideration at

The McNichols Building exhibitions are free and open to the public daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.