2-Way Mask

Lois Mailou Jones was born November 3, 1905. Her parents encouraged her to draw and paint with watercolors. She became a well-known figure while living in Paris in the 1930s and 1940s. She began working in textiles before focusing on painting. Her influences came from African and Caribbean experiences. She was one of the first Black artists to paint subject matter that was not portraiture. She had her first solo exhibition at age 17 in Martha’s Vineyard and experimented with African masks and costume design. Jones valued education and attended multiple universities and degrees. Her work reflected her international travels and always represented pride in her African roots. She painted until her death in 1998 at the age of 92.

  • To study a historic event in art

  • To expand their awareness of artists of color

  • To practice an artist’s process

  • To identify cultural influences on daily life

  • To explore artists work that impacts history

Lois Mailou Jones


  • 1 sheet Black Construction paper

  • 1 set Chalk pastels

  • 3 sheets of various colors of construction paper

  • Scissors

  • Glue


  • Reflections of the Harlem Renaissance virtual gallery

Instructional Resources

  • Mask – a face without a body used for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment and sculpture

  • Symmetry – a balance of size, shape and position of corresponding parts of the opposite sides so both sides of the center line match


  1. Review the Harlem Renaissance overview and gallery resources provided.

  2. Gather materials.

  3. Fold 1 sheet of black construction paper in half

  4. Using white chalk, draw geometric shapes (triangles, circles, square) to create one half of a face

  5. Once the face is created, add color using chalk pastels

  6. Cut various strips of construction paper from new sheets of paper

  7. Unfold the black sheet so both sides are visible

  8. By folding, bending, and twisting each strip of paper, try to create a face to complete the second half of the design. This side will have strips that lift and pop off the page!

  9. Once the design is ready, glue the strips onto the black sheet


  • 4.3PR Utilize innovative ways to apply the elements of art and principles of design

  • 2.2CR Combine materials to explore personal artistic ideas

  • 1.1CO Use historical and cultural works to answer questions about daily life

Ohio Education Standards

Class Applications

  • As a class, study culturally relevance of masks and produce a mask that demonstrates that identifies with a particular group of people. Consider the historical significance and usage and the artistic elements used.