Thursday, August 02, 2012

SMU Page Series seeks designs for sand painting

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series will be hosting the Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery Sept. 17-21, including a public performance Sept. 20.

During their week-long residency, the Tibetan Monks will create a sand mandala in the Toner Student Center. In this sacred tradition, intricate and artistic designs are created from colored sand and then ritualistically destroyed to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the impermanent nature of material life.

In conjunction with these events, the community is invited to submit design ideas and participate in the construction of a community sand painting. The community will not create a mandala or any attempt at replication of this sacred art. Instead the images in this community sand painting should reflect strongly the local essence of the community and/or landscape.

Here are some important elements to consider as you consider the design idea submission:

• The community sand painting will be constructed on a tabletop, similar to the one the monks will use. The design will not exceed 3 feet by 3 feet. Design entries should be on a smaller scale (10 inches by 10 inches is the recommended size). A color picture of the design will be displayed nearby so people would know where to place the appropriate colors. The Page Series will supply all of the colored sand, and volunteers to assist with the process.

 • The design should be simple, meaningful and easily recognized by the local community. The design can be a combination of shapes, images and words – but preferably with no intricate details.

 • The design should be able to be viewed from all angles, without a defined top and bottom – so everyone who works on it or views it at any angle will still have a good seat.

• Many people will work to bring the design to fruition – young and old, artists with and without experience.

• All design proposals must be submitted in color. Color pencil is preferred, or a medium that does not allow for shading of colors, as this is not possible with the sand. Computer graphic design is acceptable as well.

• By submitting the design for the community sand painting, you agree to release all rights to use this image to the Performance Center at Saint Mary's University solely for the purpose of the community sand painting. Your design may be used in part or entirety in the spirit of collaborative community design.

Design submissions must be submitted to the Performance Center at Saint Mary's, attention Community Sand Painting Design Committee, by no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7. Submit your entry electronically to or drop it off at the Performance Center Box Office between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.