Kolyada mask

2022 has confronted us with personal and collective demons, fears, and shadows on an unprecedented scale. We have faced things we could never have imagined and discovered aspects of ourselves we never knew existed.

During this 2-hour workshop, we created our very own Kolyada masks to give shape to the facets of ourselves that we may not be able to put into words or may not know how to bring out into the open.

One of the most significant powers of creating a symbolic object like a mask is that it allows us to explore emotions and experiences in a community without sharing details that may be too difficult to reveal in front of others. In addition, playing with a mask opens up healing opportunities to put aside the identities we inhabit day-to-day and discover new ways to play, release, connect, grieve, and celebrate with ourselves and each other.

As we peer deeply into the magic and wisdom of the coming winter season, we will ask: How do we create the monstrous? How does it create us? What strength, joy, and hope can we find when we dare to look beyond fear?

Summary of «Kolyada Mask» workshop:

  • Discussion on the history and traditions of Kolyada masks and the power of ritual masks in other cultures
  • Discovery of various meanings and associations of different Koleda characters
  • Learning the basics of mask construction
  • Learning to work with a range of different materials (wood, cloth, leather, etc.)
  • Creation of masks that are unique and powerful to each participant
Natalya Kolosowsky
Founder & Art Director
The founder and artistic director of the Shadow Tender project — a multidisciplinary performance project that uses wearable sculpture performance to interrogate psychological mechanisms of demonization at the root of extremist nationalistic policy

Natalya was born in Akademgorodok but grew up in the Sonoran desert, which created a life-long interest in bridging seemingly opposing cultures, histories, and perspectives.


Natalya received her classical ballet training under Kee-Juan Han and went on to study and perform in circus arts, butoh, physical theater, and puppetry throughout the West Coast of the United States. She has worked for and collaborated with a number of organizations over the years including Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Theater, Salzburg State Theatre, Michael Curry Design, Degenerate Art Ensemble, and many others. Her work has been showcased at a variety of venues in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of American Illustration in New York, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Prague Quadrennial, the A. A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum in Moscow, the Taipei National University of the Arts, and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She holds a BS in Psychology and a BFA in Visual Communication from the University of Arizona, as well as an MFA in Costume Design from the University of Oregon.


To learn more about Natalya, please visit her online portfolio here or connect with her on Instagram: @natalya_chaos

What our viewers say

Participants of the “Kolyada Mask » workshop were encouraged to wear their new masks in Fool House Art Collective’s “Koleda“, a winter solstice festival in January of 2023.

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