Santa Clarita brings Native American masks exhibit to Newhall Library

File art. water-permeable pavement installed at library parking lot. Dan Watson Jan 14, 2017

The city of Santa Clarita presents “Putting on Power,” a new exhibition of Native American masks, on display now through Sept. 24 at the Old Town Newhall Library Community Room.

Residents are invited to view the exhibit, which highlights the Native American mask in its different variations and purposes. The project was brought to Santa Clarita by Jeff Barber, the Santa Clarita Arts and Events supervisor, and two co-curators with whom he has previously worked.

“I worked with two co-curators for the show. Nadiya Littlewarrior is a Santa Clarita resident and artist. The other is Kat High. Kat is highly involved in Native American life in Southern California.  She is a curator, organizer, artist and advocate,” said Barber in an email to The Signal. “We have worked on many projects over the years, including many prior to my position with the city.”

All of the masks are contemporary pieces that have been made within the last 20 years, and several were made specifically for this exhibit.

Masks are a prominent aspect of Native American culture. Some masks related to clan families have been used in healing, coming of age and ghost feast (grief) ceremonies. There are three different types of masks: a single face, which is a simple mask, a mechanical mask that can contain moving parts, and the transformation mask, which combines two masks into one. Each mask is unique and carries its own charm, said a city of Santa Clarita news release.

The exhibit will be on display at the Old Town Newhall Library until Sept. 24, but residents are invited to a reception that will take place 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. Residents can enjoy the art collection, meet the artists behind the masks, talk to other art fanatics and enjoy light appetizers, according to the city’s website.

The Old Town Newhall Library is located at 24500 Main St. in Newhall. For information regarding all city art happenings, please visit

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