Masks for Aid

Distance Brings Clarity

Last fall I, along with 11 other artists, was honored by a commission from the HNC Living Foundation to make a special piece of artwork to raise awareness and bring financial support for survivors of head and neck cancer. I was charged with using a thermoplastic mask, one that had been molded to a cancer patient’s face as a tool for focusing radiation treatment. The mask is embued with so much meaning for the patient – for some a symbol of torture as they are immobilized on the table, for others a symbol of their own strength and healing. But for me, after living with the mask in my studio for the winter, looking at it and looking at it, contemplating its meaning to me, I approached it with my camera attempting to find the person within the mask. To place my focus on the mask itself seemed to belie the existence of the one that wore it. Through my camera the person emerged.


Dahlquist photograph of radiation mask, on aluminum and polyster

“Distance Brings Clarity”

Please Join Me for the Inaugural Event!

Masks for Aid

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

6:30 | Reception
7:30 | Quixotic Fusion Presents Masque
8:30 | Transformation Celebration,  the unveiling of 12 new, original works of art

 more information and tickets available here


My Artist Statement:

“When you’re in the middle of it, the details are everything. The counts, the percentages, the minutes, all of these take on monumental proportions – they speak of life and death. There is the seduction of certitude that comes with the details, the comfort of knowing. It is only when the time of minutiae has passed, when the leaves stop being counted and the tree is seen as a whole, that the humanity returns. It is in the distance that clarity comes, when the microscope is laid to rest, the person beneath the mask re-emerges.”

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