“Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century,” 10/19/17-2/11/18

The world of mascots is one of the most vibrant and active areas of contemporary mask performance in the United States. With their combination of costumes and over-life-size head masks, mascots are stunning symbolic representations of professional, college, and high-school sports teams, companies, and other organizations. Through their performances at sporting events, parades, theme parks, street corners, and other venues, mascots represent powerful ideas of community, team spirit, and organizational identity. The Ballard Institute’s Mascots! exhibition will examine the creators, history and social context of mascots in North America, and bring together exciting examples of contemporary and historic mascots ranging from the collegiate level with UConn’s Jonathan the Husky, Big Jay and Baby Jay from the University of Kansas, and Lil’ Red from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, to famous major-league mascots including the Boston’s favorite mascot; Winger, the former mascot of the Washington Capitols; Clutch from the Houston Rockets, the Famous San Diego Chicken, and more.