1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Arts
  4. /
  5. Visual Arts

Watch Tibetan monks create a mandala in St. Petersburg

Plus, ‘Halloween in January’ features work by the Peach Moon and there’s an outdoor photography exhibit in Sarasota.
A crowd watches Tibetan Buddhist monks from India's Drepung Gomang Monastery dissolve their sand mandala during the Sacred Art Tour at Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg in 2018. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times (2018)]
A crowd watches Tibetan Buddhist monks from India's Drepung Gomang Monastery dissolve their sand mandala during the Sacred Art Tour at Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg in 2018. [LUIS SANTANA | Times (2018)]
Published Dec. 31, 2019


It’s hard to imagine a more peaceful way to come down from the holidays than observing Tibetan monks creating a mandala. Eight Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India will return to do just that at Florida CraftArt. It’s the third time the Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks have brought their popular Sacred Art Tour to St. Petersburg to create the sacred healing medicine mandala with millions of colorful grains of sand and loads of patience. Over six days, there will also be artistic workshops, cultural events and a minute of worldwide healing. At the opening ceremony at 10:15 a.m. Jan. 7, the monks will chant, play long Tibetan horns and consecrate the site of the mandala. They’ll begin building the mandala, funneling those grains of sand through a tool called a chakpur. They’ll also chant daily at 10:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Jan. 12, the mandala is swept up and a Dissolution Ceremony follows, with a procession following the orange-robed monks to bless the mandala in a Buddhist ceremony. A number of events happen in between. 501 Central Ave. (727) 821-7391.


Many artists get in on Inktober, an online challenge to artists to create one drawing a day based on one-word prompts. Local artist known as the Peach Moon is exhibiting the results of her Inktober at the Blue Goose, opening this weekend. “Spooked” is her third show and the first featuring works drawn digitally, from Inktober 2018 and 2019. The piece pictured was inspired by the word “drain.” Her tropical Florida takes on scary themes are quirky and fun. Guests are invited to bring their own ideas and draw them during Saturday’s opening reception. Supplies provided. Free. 8 p.m. 48 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 201-9690.

"Drain" will be featured in the Peach Moon's solo exhibition "Spooked" at the Blue Goose in St. Petersburg on Jan. 4. [Courtesy of Amanda LaForest]


Check out “The Fence,” an outdoor photo exhibition displayed on a fence, at Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park. The nationally touring exhibition conceived and produced by United Photo Industries is being shown in just three U.S. cities. It’s composed of large-format photography from national and global artists in “The National Photographers Showcase,” and Sarasota’s version also includes eight Florida photographers in “The Gulf Coast of Florida Regional Photographers Showcase.” The latter features Tonya Barnes’ edgy "Save the Sirens’ series, pictured. On display through Feb. 8. Free. 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota.

Tonya Barnes' "Breath" is part of her "Save the Sirens" series and is on display in "The Fence" at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. [Courtesy of Jasmin Chang]


  1. Linda Jablonski, 61, of South Pasadena, visits the "Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank" exhibit at the Florida Holocaust Museum and tries out the virtual reality experience of Anne Frank's "Secret Annex."
  2. "Black Figure Skyphos (Drinking Cup)," part of the Tampa Museum of Art's permanent collection, is on display in the exhibition "The Making of a Museum: 100 Years, 100 Works."
  3. Kirk Ke Wang's exhibition, "Landscape of Human Skins," is on display at the Morean Arts Center through Feb. 29.
  4. Local Tampa artist, Nathan Mitchell, plays the piano in his home studio in Brandon. Mitchell is among five artists nominated for "Outstanding Jazz Album" for the 51st NAACP Image Awards that will air live on Feb. 22 on BET.
  5. "Birds of Prey" stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
  6. A piece of glass art from Petr Hora, whose last show on American soil happens at the Hampson Gallery in St. Petersburg on Feb. 8.
  7. Changing Woman, a copper plate etching and copper plate by the late artist Helen Hardin, is part of the Spirit Lines exhibition at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, St. Petersburg, Wednesday, January 29, 2020. The exhibition runs through March 1, 2020.
  8. "Crescent Lake Sunrise" by Robert Herbenick, one of the artists who'll participate in the 2Cool Art Show at the Gulfport Casino on Feb. 1 and 2.
  9. Pablo Picasso's scene design for Pulcinella is part of the "Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, which will open on Jan. 25.
  10. Photographer Griff Davis captured the first meeting of Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr. and their wives, Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King, on Independence Day in Accra, Ghana on March 7, 1957.
  11. Roberto Gomez, of Puerto Rico, dressed as Darth Vader, attends the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles.
  12. A photograph by Anastasia Samoylova from the "FloodZone" series, on view at USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa through March 7.