Aug. 18, 2008
Six Tibetan Buddhist monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery in Mundgod, India, will create a sand mandala over a four-day period at Morningside College from Tuesday, September 2, through Friday, September 5. After working 75 to 125 hours to create the intricate sand painting, the monks will purposely destroy the work of art on Sunday, September 7.
The public can watch the monks as they create the mandala from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in the Helen Levitt Art Gallery located in the Eppley Fine Arts Building, 3625 Garretson Avenue, on the Morningside campus. The completed mandala will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, in the Levitt Gallery.
John Bowitz, professor and chair of the art department at Morningside, said that at approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 7, the monks will sweep up the mandala to illustrate the principle that life is transient and will distribute some of the sand to members of the public. The Levitt Gallery will open at 1 p.m. on September 7 for the public to view the mandala before the monks destroy it.
"The two-dimensional sand mandala is created through a labor-intensive process that involves several monks working at a time to precisely apply colored sand by gently tapping sand-filled metal cones that have had their tips removed,” Bowitz said. “The finished mandala truly is a magnificent work of art in which multi-layered symbolic images, placement and color all have significance.”
Creation of the sand mandala is sponsored by the Morningside College Academic and Cultural Arts Series and Tarahouse Meditation Center in Sioux City and is supported in part by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.