Behind a layer of synthetic rubber and paint, Jonathan Becker gains a greater understanding of himself and the world around him. 

From his three-story home in downtown Muncie, Becker runs the North American Laboratory of the Performing Arts (NALPA) where he houses artists and makes masks.

“Theater has always been a really serious thing for me; it’s always been a place that I felt at home,” Becker said. “I’ve tried to escape it a number of times in my adult life, and I can never really get away; I’m always pulled back into it.

“I’ve found over the years that it’s something that I actually need in order to find fulfillment and to kind of survive my day … it’s the only place where I find that I’m confronted with myself constantly, and so I have the opportunity to grow and come to a greater understanding of me, but more importantly then apply that to the understanding of others.”

When he moved into his home eight years ago, Becker saw the potential the house had to cultivate artistry and founded NALPA to invite others to use the space to create, explore and connect through the arts.

On the third floor is a studio that is sometimes used for performances or other artistic projects. Most often, however, the space is used by Becker to create theatrical masks.