The Masks


Name: Bobby T

City: Canton

Brain Injury: Head trauma when a steel pipe load on his work truck broke loose.

Explanation of Mask: I’m sort of in a limbo with only a small opening in my throat and 2 caved in areas on my head on the right side. The mouth represents equal “smile” and “frown” times of happiness and sadness. The small nasal openings show my small airways. The arrows on my forehead show my angry times and happy times. The orange question marks show the things I can’t remember. The purple represents lightening up to the blue cloud and yellow sun, which wait for me in heaven when life is over and the next adventure begins. The brown and black stripes around the eyes represent the hidden flaws that people can’t see inside of me. 

Name: Deja S.

City: Chicago

Brain Injury: Asthma attack

Explanation of Mask: Short term memory.  The dark space on my mask is for my memory loss.

Name: Michael 

City: Chicago

Brain Injury: Gunshot to the head

Explanation of Mask: The emotions tell how I feel on the inside and the outside.  Sometimes I want to cry and sometimes just forget the world and be lost in my mind and when I get lost in my mind I can get real mad and furious.  I got a kind heart but I let my mind hold me back in this world.

Name: Peter      City: McCook

Brain Injury: Tumor

Explanation of mask: When I think about my brain, I feel happy it’s healed by now.  I laugh a lot.  I decided to make the mask green and yellow because I like art, I dream a lot, I think hard.

Name: Howard

City: Rock Island

Brain Injury: Car accident on the 4th of November 2015 I was hit by a car. I had brain damage also I hurt my rib

Explanation of Mask: My mask means the most to me. I have never done a mask of this altitude, fun wright. Let me tell you what my mask mean to me, I put the Thunderbolt on the forehead for luck of the Lord; the sign on the forehead is a peace sign for us all on earth. The dollar sign means it represents I’m fabulous, the star represents I’m dynamic. The butterfly represents life is easy. I’m a happy person and that’s it.

Name: William

City: Chicago

Brain injury: Stroke

Explanation of Mask: I painted the mask blue because I felt free. I put teardrops on the mask because I lost a lot of my sight. The rainbows in the eyes are a symbol of my creativity. The heart shows that I am loving, and the butterflies show that I am pleasant. The flowers show that I am content. The spiral and the question mark are to show that I am sometimes confused. The red chin has to do with being irritated. The frown is for when I feel heartbroken. The smile shows that I feel joyful and proud.

Name: Ignacio

City: Chicago

Brain Injury: Hit by a car

Explanation of Mask: I put flowers on the mask to make it look pretty.

Name: Edward

City: Mt. Prospect

Brain Injury: Had a virus called HSV and it spread to my brain. I now have trouble with my memory.

Explanation of mask: The year 1968 represents my wisdom, it is the year I was born, the check mark represents when I feel stable, clear, and easy. The crack in my mask at the top represents when I feel frustrated, challenged, distracted, confused and worried. The book represents my love for reading. I feel calm, peaceful, and relaxed when I am reading. I wear glasses and they keep me focused. I put a bright yellow in my eyes to show energy. My mask is smiling because it shows that I feel good, appreciative, awesome, cheerful, humorous, comfortable, delightful, fabulous, joyful, positive, and kind. The heart on my chin represents when I feel love. The baseball on my cheek represents when I feel playful. I chose to paint my mask green for clarity and content, the blue represents when things get confusing, and the yellow represents when I am happy.

Name: W. K.

City: Mt. Prospect

Brain Injury: Anoxic brain injury

Explanation of Mask: I feel lively, confident, smart, determined, worthwhile, and safe. The peace sign represents that I am in no danger. The hands on the bottom represent that I am in safe hands and accepted. The number one means I am worthwhile. The infinity sign means unlimited. The question marks mean that I am not always sure what’s happening.