Make us your home page
Instagram

Art Planner: Sand mandala at a museum, realism and Cuban art

SANDS OF TIME: MANDALA AT MFA

Sand mandalas are gorgeous works of art. Even more, they are physical manifestations of the Buddhist belief that material life is transitory. Probably the greatest living practitioner of sand mandalas is Losang Samten and he will create a mandala at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE, beginning Sunday.

Samten is a scholar who for many years was a Buddhist monk serving for several years as the Dalai Lama's personal attendant. The spiritual leader sent Samten to the United States in 1988 to introduce the art form to the West. Since then, he has created mandalas at major museums and educational institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Columbia University and Harvard University. He also was a technical adviser for and appeared in Kundun, Martin Scorsese's film about the Dalai Lama.

A mandala is ephemeral. After its creation, blessing and time for contemplating it, it is dismantled. Both are ceremonial, ritualistic processes as is the design. Beautiful as it is, its purpose is to present sacred symbols and deities in a formal, geometric pattern within a circle. This mandala's theme will be the healing Buddha.

Samten will work in the Mary Alice McClendon Conservatory and you pay no admission to watch. A suggestion is to view the mandala in the making and then visit the museum galleries, especially the Asian Gallery with its collection of Buddha sculptures. That requires admission: $17 adults; $15 seniors and military; $10 college students with ID and youths 7 to 18. Children under 6 are free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Want more? Losang will offer teachings and a tea ceremony to begin the New Year from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Sacred Lands, 1700 Park St. N., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 347-0354.

Sand mandala schedule

Sunday, noon: Drawing of the mandala

Monday, 2 p.m. : Blessing of the sand

Monday through Jan. 15: Creation of the mandala. Samten will work from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. each day except Jan. 11.

Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m.: Screening of Martin Scorsese's Kundun with an introduction by Samten

Jan. 9, 2 p.m.: Book-signing, Ancient Teachings in Modern Times by Losang Samten

Jan. 16, noon: Dismantling ceremony

GETTING REAL: DABBERT GALLERY

Fifty years ago, realism in art was considered dated at best, cornball at worst. Fortunately, realism has proven it's here to stay and can stand proudly beside its more conceptual brethren. One compelling reason: People like the style. At its best, it gives viewers a sense of time and place, an experience that can be familiar or new. We know intellectually we're looking at a two-dimensional interpretation of three-dimensional real life, but it reads as real.

"Realism, the Art of Make Believe" at Dabbert Gallery is a group show of oil paintings including The Purchase by Bill Farnsworth. It reminded me of a movie I recently revisited, Under the Tuscan Sun, and the small, charming Italian village that became a major character. The show at the gallery, 76 S Palm Ave., Sarasota, opens Saturday and continues through Jan. 31. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free. (941) 955-1315. dabbertgallery.com.

NUANCE GALLERIES: CONTEMPORARY CUBAN ART

Yes, a trip to Cuba is the best way to enjoy its vibrant culture but if that isn't in the offing, plan a visit to Nuance Galleries, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, to view works by 16 Cuban artists. Owner and collector Robert Rowan has assembled a group of paintings and prints created between 1960 and 2000.

Art Planner: Sand mandala at a museum, realism and Cuban art 12/30/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 12:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]