Got a Creative Mask Idea? You Could Win $500 in a Mask-Making Competition

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A perforated leather and hand-dyed cotton mask made by artist Lauren McKeon. (Courtesy the artist)

Our foreseeable future is a masked one. Already, I recite a new mantra when I leave my home, lest I forget one of four essential items: “Keys, wallet, phone, mask.”

The initial rush to produce as many simple-but-effective face coverings as possible (most notably, to address personal protective equipment shortfalls for front-line workers and medical personnel) was necessary and generous. But as panic subsides into a baseline of healthy, responsible caution, there's more room for creativity. Yes, we wish we didn’t have to wear them, but it’s time to embrace masks as an expression of personal fashion.

In this vein, San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) announced the launch of a nationwide mask-making design competition they’re calling Let’s Face It. The free competition requires only two digital images of your mask (off and on a face) and is open to all. The winning design will receive $500, a runner-up will receive $250 and third place will receive $100. Additional recognition (but no cash prize) will go to “best in show,” “best student design” and “most unique design.”

Artist and designer Bailey Hikawa's 'Origami Masks.' (Courtesy the artist)

Marcel Wilson, founder and design director of the San Francisco landscape architecture firm Bionic, and JoAnn Edwards, executive director of the MCD, will judge the entries. The scope of the competition is wide enough to embrace even your most out-there submissions. “From the practical to the avant-garde, all masks or personal protective equipment covering the face are eligible to apply,” the guidelines read.

Entries are open through May 31, and as if you need extra incentive to participate in a free competition, for each design entered, the MCD will donate a new mask to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Details here.