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    Henry Woolbert: Painting, Drawing, Teaching and Mask-making

Henry in his studio     Henry     henry at dunes

I mine my imagination, dream imagery, and the mysteries of nature to create vibrant and rhythmical paintings, drawings, prints, and masks.  My work resonates with the music, dance, and healing traditions of earth-based people all over the world.  For over fifty years, I have dedicated my life to art.

A trip to West Africa in 1999 confirmed my affinity for African art, music, and dance.  More importantly, it encouraged me to explore the transformative spirit in art.  Most of my work is inspired from this ongoing connection with indigenous cultures.

In 2010, I founded Coyote Arts Network, a grassroots arts organization dedicated to making sure that students have access to arts education that would otherwise be denied because of funding cuts in public schools. I volunteered for four years as the art teacher in Rio Costilla Elementary School in Costilla, NM.

I create large bodies of work in series, primarily in watercolor and colored pencil. Several series have explored the creative spark of inspiration as experienced in a transparent and electrified body.  In my watercolor series, “Shaman Masks,” I zoom in for a radiant close-up of imaginary beings infused with color, detail, rhythm, music, and light.  In another series, “Spirit Masks,” I simplify the mask form using granulated watercolor to give the appearance of stone, metal, or wood.. The most recent series focuses on watercolors based on petroglyphs.

I'm teaming up with Kathy in a series of three-dimensional masks,.  I paint and add surface decoration to the forms she carves or models.  Our back and forth collaboration leads to unusual ideas and fresh materials, including found and recycled objects.  This body of work is mysterious, humorous, and evocative of the spirit world. 

I believe that art is healing and transforming.  Art saves lives.  This philosophy was put to the test in the arts and crafts classes I taught for two years in a federal women’s prison in the early 90s, and more recently in the Alamosa jail.

Although I have a formal education with a BFA in painting from California College of Arts and Crafts, I have moved beyond the criticisms and mannerisms of academia in order to listen to the wisdom of my heart and the truth of my dreams. 

Mask Making classes

 Watercolor classes


Shaman Mask 12 link to Henry's gallery
Henry's gallery

Reunion link to Kathy's gallery
Kathy's gallery

Quail Spirit Mask link to collaborations


Shaman Dancer 28 link to Shaman Dancers Shaman Mask #9 link to Shaman Masks Spirit Mask #12 link to Spirit Masks Arrowcatcher link to petroglyph series
Shaman Dancers series
Shaman Mask series   
Spirit Mask series
Petroglyph series

link to Henry's Shaman Dancers              

Last updated January 10, 2018          Copyright 2009 Dreampower Art Works         13201 Chamisa Trail, Alamosa, CO 81101
email Kathy           email Henry            

link to Collaborations