Overtones gallery in Mar Vista is presenting the “Pandemic Show,” a group exhibition of artist-designed surgical masks through Sunday, December 20th.

The exhibition is conceived by Los Angeles artist Sandra Low and co-curated by Low and Overtones gallery’s director Elizabeta Betinski.

The artworks on display were created specifically for this exhibition. Over 60 artists were sent masks and asked to interpret and customize these seemingly flimsy facial prophylactics into unique works of art, according to Low.

Inevitably, the resulting works are unpredictable, reflecting upon people’s collective paranoia as well as the desire to survive, Low notes.

News footage of brush fires, earthquakes, and pandemic flu invariably feature people swathed in the surgical masks, the exhibit curators explain. But “mutations” have begun to emerge, as in China, masks have featured Burberry plaids and cartoon critters, while painted skulls and Sharpie-pen smiles are recorded in Mexico City, the curators say.

“Pandemic Show” is presented in the seventh year of Overtones gallery, a contemporary Los Angeles exhibition space whose program has strived to combine beauty and social action, and reach out beyond the confines of established art-world structures in an effort to engage a wide range of audiences, according to the gallery.

The group exhibition is a call to celebrate life, embrace change, and utilize creativity to fight off the biggest and most damaging pandemic of all — fear, the curators said.

Overtones gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment. The gallery is at 12703 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista.

Information, (310) 915-0346, or www.overtonesgallery.com/.

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