Saturday, September 22, 2018
Arts

Public invited to watch monks create sand mandala at St. Petersburg gallery

The hundreds of people who showed up to watch a Buddhist monk create a vividly detailed sand mandala last year in a local museum will get another chance to witness the ancient art form in practice. Eight Tibetan monks from a monastery in India will create an intricate mandala over six days at Florida CraftArt Galleries in St. Petersburg starting Tuesday.

A symbol of the Buddhist lesson that life is beautiful and impermanent, the intricate mandala is created in a meditative sequence of laying down brightly colored sand in repetitive patterns. They use a chakpur, a fluted, cone-shaped tool, to pour tiny lines of sand into a circular pattern that holds meaning in their symbols, colors and placement.

More than 800 people were drawn to the dismantling ceremony last January at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg when the sand was swept up and scattered into the nearby waters of Tampa Bay.

Katie Deits, the new executive director at Florida CraftArt Galleries, said she has seen how mandalas can draw crowds. She knew it would be a good fit with the gallery.

It isn't unusual to see visitors stopping by several times during construction and closing their eyes to take in the peaceful chucka-chucka-chucka sound of the tapping of the chakpur to release sand. The Buddhists believe the rhythmic repetition has a meditative, calming effect and produces a sense of peace just by gazing at it.

"Watching the monks and when they chant together and their overall peaceful vibe, the experience and the discovery of Tibentan culture was amazing," Diets said.

Starting with an opening ceremony Tuesday, the monks of the Drepung Gomang monastery visiting CraftArt will share Tibetan culture and traditions, and offer lessons on compassion. Tibetan works of art will also be for sale. There are several community activities surrounding the mandala construction and there will be daily chanting

Sunday brings a dismantling ceremony where a crowd will walk six blocks from the gallery to the bay to scatter the swept-up sand into the water as a symbol of the cycle of life.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

 
Comments
Visit 20 Tampa Bay museums for free (or nearly free) on Saturday

Visit 20 Tampa Bay museums for free (or nearly free) on Saturday

It’s that time when museums show the community some love by offering free admission on Saturday, like early Christmas for art lovers. Two events are the same day; Smithsonian magazine’s nationwide Free Museum Day and St. Petersburg’...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

A band will once again take the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show.The pop group Maroon 5 is scheduled to headline the annual 13-minute extravaganza this February at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to two sources familiar with the plan...
Published: 09/19/18
Explore Florida’s ‘Sad Tropics’ at Tempus Projects, make your own Kusama-esque sculpture and swim through water inspired art

Explore Florida’s ‘Sad Tropics’ at Tempus Projects, make your own Kusama-esque sculpture and swim through water inspired art

Troubled Paradise: Sad TropicsAs Floridians know, there’s another world beyond the picture-perfect postcard images of our state and other seemingly idyllic tropical places. Florida natives and New Orleans-based artists Cristina Molina and Jonathan Tr...
Published: 09/12/18
‘This Is Not a Selfie’ tackles the interesting history of self-portraits

‘This Is Not a Selfie’ tackles the interesting history of self-portraits

Whoever said "the camera does not lie" hasn't seen the knockout exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.
Published: 09/11/18
Fall Art Preview: From Kusama to Magritte, the Tampa Bay museum scene is impressive

Fall Art Preview: From Kusama to Magritte, the Tampa Bay museum scene is impressive

A look at what’s to come to our museums reveals many opportunities to bask in the creations of some of the world’s leading artists. Art lovers are already buzzing about Yayoi Kusama’s Love Is Calling Infinity Room, coming to the Tam...
Updated one month ago
Two art exhibits tackle social issues: #MeToo and Palestine

Two art exhibits tackle social issues: #MeToo and Palestine

Spotlight On: Not #MeToo: No More Casting CouchIn response to the avalanche of sexual misconduct revealed by the #MeToo movement, artist and St. Petersburg College art professor Kevin Grass created a stunningly poignant painting depicting a lecherous...
Updated one month ago