Masks and Mirrors: Explorations of Identity by Elaine Weiner-Reed | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Masks and Mirrors: Explorations of Identity by Elaine Weiner-Reed

Chaney Gallery, 2nd floor

Annapolis Arts Week - Free to the Public

Wed. June 6 | 6-7 pm: Every Painting is a Song: Collaboration with Rogue Collective

If my paintings were songs, what would they sound like? How would they ‘feel’ and what would they say?

The night will consist of structured improvisations by violin and cello trio from Rogue Collective. Music will engage visitors to understand painting in a different way – through song. Artist Elaine Weiner-Reed will also talk about her show Masks and Mirrors and the inspiration behind her paintings.


Elaine Weiner-Reed, (left) Encounters and (right) Mirror

 New works, like "The Waiting Game" (above), will be exhibited for the first time, along with more audio soundtracks and hands-on mask-making opportunities.

There will be a Gallery Talk during the Opening Reception.

Uncommon Vision

Elaine Weiner-Reed's Masks and Mirrors: An Exploration of Identity Solo Exhibition explores identity in all its facets, phases, trials, tribulations, and triumphs. From one's first glimpse of self in the mirror, to survival across time thanks to defense mechanisms with which we arm ourselves, this exhibition and ongoing series honors the journey, celebrates humanity, unravels relationships, and contemplates the legacy of a life well-lived. Everyday heroes walk with and among us. Their lives inspire!

 For the first time, Elaine Weiner-Reed introduces interactive, collaborative, and three-dimensional elements to her exhibition. An outgrowth of her continuing series and personal reflections on the evolution of identity, her unique “Identity Station” is an innovative approach to involving and inviting guests of all ages to engage and explore the evolution of their own identity.  Specifically, guests will consider how they view themselves and recognize their own proven techniques for survival. The “Masks and Mirrors” exhibition comes alive in this environment designed to be fun, nostalgic, and revelatory.  

Join Elaine in collaboration activities such as creative writing and improvisation on Fridays throughout the exhibition. Universal discussions about relationships, survival, and identity will happen as an outgrowth of the exchanges that occur when art meets real life.

Guests are invited to play a key role as they study the artwork and sculpture, listen to the talk or audio reflections, spend time at the Identity Station, and interact with the artist and other guests.

Which masks and defense mechanisms help each of us navigate turbulent periods in our lives?

Exhibition Statement 

An exhibition that is engaging and multi-sensory, "Masks and Mirrors" invites visitors to embrace their curiosity about self-identity and the inner psyche.

  Per the artist: "Each person's life is a story as unique as they are, and designed from a kaleidoscope or medley of memories, dreams, and experiences. Our story is being written as we speak..." -Elaine Weiner-Reed

In this exhibit, paintings are paired with audio companion soundtracks – thoughtful, reflective content designed to engage more of the guests’ imagination and curiosity…and eventually, their own self-exploration. Video and 3-dimensional works - to include hand-made and other masks - will be incorporated, along with mirrors and an "identity station" for the interactive participation of visitors.” Weekly engagement hours with the artist will be scheduled to open pathways to creative collaboration and dialogue.


Elaine Weiner-Reed, (left) Story and (right) Vision Quest

Artist Bio 

Elaine Weiner-Reed entered the world in a crowded womb – a very fraternal twin.  She emerged four minutes before her twin, later teasing that she desperately needed some personal space. The product of hard-working second-generation Russian and Irish parents, a healthy sense of humor became a core value, as did hard work, honesty, integrity, faith, and determination. She created her own identity independent from her twin and the twin mystique of the day, resisting predetermined rules and boundaries. Her fierce independent and creative streak was hard-wired into her from birth and her path as an artist was irreversible and undeniable. She drew and composed poems incessantly, and when paper was scarce, she mastered the Etch-a-Sketch.

     Her integrity, drive and search for identity and originality, born largely out of her twin status, sharpened her mind, and forged an intuitive soul that fiercely guarded and nourished her artistic voice. Weiner-Reed grew up with a passion to make art and expand her world through travel and the French language. At university, majoring in French, she discovered sculpture and never looked back.

     Relationships matter. In Weiner-Reed’s expressionist paintings, layers of color, shape, and her distinctive lines palpitate with charged energy or subtle undertones to weave stories that engage the imagination and evoke a mood or memory. With a painterly hand, she explores life and honors the journey, zooming in on individuals, defining their personality or psyche in layers. Some are more defined characters, while others appear as mysterious silhouettes or after-thoughts. Weiner-Reed believes we are all products of our personal histories, and in her work, she connects her present to the ancestral voices and timeless whispers of the past.

     Weiner-Reed is an award-winning, internationally known visual artist. Bilingual in French, she currently lives in Maryland, where she has worked for over 37 years as a professional artist, writer, and civil servant (retired, 2017). Weiner-Reed’s art has been included in international exhibitions in China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Canada, and over 25 national exhibits across the U.S. – including three solo and two group shows in Chelsea (NYC). Her art is in public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. She was one of five American artists in the first U.S. cadre to participate in the 17th annual Poland Ministry of Culture- and EU-sponsored Artist Residency Program (Warsztaty Artystyczne–Towarzystwo, 17th WMA). She returned to Poland for the July 2017 MWA Jubilee Residency “Building Bridges”—where she participated in painting public murals in Myslenice. Weiner-Reed’s art has been reviewed or featured in The Dobra Polska Szkola, Studio&Gallery Magazine, The Palette Magazine, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun.