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Elizabeth Morisette - Making Masks

By: Natalie Scarlett, Huckleberry Literary

450. That’s how many masks textile and installation artist Elizabeth Morisette has made and sent to health professionals in New York City, Pittsburg, Ohio, and Michigan. A friend and midwife at the Women’s Clinic preemptively asked Elizabeth to make masks in early March and sent her a pattern. Since then Elizabeth has used her considerable skill as a seamstress to make hundreds of masks for those on the front lines of this pandemic.

While her artistic work is often conceptual, she’s putting her design school training to the test with “design thinking” to make her masks breathable and adjustable. “Design thinking is asking yourself how this product will work in the environment it is intended for. It’s practical.” While installation building is novel and mask-making is a necessity, Elizabeth welcomes the work. “I’m the kind of person who just needs to stay busy or I start thinking too much,” she wryly cracks. ”Plus I’ve got all this wild fabric from the 80s sitting around.” The masks are of two sorts: surgical, which accommodates a filter, and full coverage.

Elizabeth is also leading online art classes through the Fort Collins Museum of Art where she works as the Education Coordinator. To complement the MOA’s annual Masks Matter fundraiser she has been posting tutorial videos for artists young and old to learn to make art with everyday items like paper plates and toilet paper tubes, provided you have any to spare.

This article is part of a series of highlights about our Fort Collins artists and creatives making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Thank you for supporting local artists, musicians, creative small businesses and Downtown Fort Collins!

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