Community Rock and Nature Mandala Sept 14, 2013, 7PM, Heritage Park, Escondido

To Matthew Greene and many others

To  honor those we love or have lost.  I personally am dedicating my participation and rocks to Matthew Greene, hiker/math teacher from my home town of Bethlehem, PA who was lost in Mammoth Lakes in July.  (See facebook page, Find Matthew Greene), as well as my dog Winnie who died four months ago as well as many other critters and family members…..

Part of the Art and Science Exhibit at Escondido Arts Partnership Gallery, opening reception 5:30-8PM, Sept 14

Bring your favorite stones, feathers, shells or other objects from nature and join in creating a mandala to visually and spatially explore, as well as meditate upon.  Allow the positive energy of this group masterpiece to ripple outwards, and even after the rocks and twigs are gone, the energy remains.  Use the time and event to send light and healing to loved ones.

Healing quartz and jasper along with mica, from New Hampshire, Ontario, CAN, and Southern California

Healing quartz and jasper along with mica, from New Hampshire, Ontario, CAN, and Southern California

Exploring the mandalaStone placementEscondido sunset

Heritage Park, Escondido Rocks as Onlookers - Preparing for Group Mandala Creation, Sept 14th, 7PM

Heritage Park, Escondido
Preparing for Group Mandala Creation, Sept 14th, 7PM

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Preparing for Art & Science Exhibit at Escondido Arts Partnership Gallery with Gwyn Henry

Escondido nature mandala created at Bravo School of Art, San DiegoYoung mandala artists

Nature Mandala, Bravo School of Art, San Diego

Escondido School District and art alliance arts in schools festival April 2013

Mandala trees created by 2nd graders at Escondido School District, Lincoln ElementaryA young mandala artist at Escondido Arts in Schools festival, April 2013

Mandala Tree Murals created by 2nd graders at Escondido School District Lincoln Elementary and a young mandala artist at Escondido Arts in Schools festival, April 2013

In December I shared the art of mandala making with residents at the Escondido,CA Interfaith Community winter shelter residents, as well as with some residents of the veteran housing.  As always, I was delighted to watch the mandalas in the making, and amazed at the results.  My students included a blind veteran who could see shadows and although he was not able to work in the detail he wanted, he enjoyed the process and relating to the other students.  One student created a vibrant and intricate mandala, and it turned out he was hoping to get training as a graphic designer.  A large man on my right got to work immediately with a compass and protractor and we learned he was heading out soon to motorcycle mechanic training.  When I asked the residents of the winter shelter how they liked the mandala trees we painted on the walls the month before, one woman said quietly, “I like my mandala by my bed.  It helps me feel centered.”  As someone who lost my home and was perilously close to not having any home, I relate.  Mandala making has helped me stay centered.

February 1st was the first day of artists in schools as part of the Escondido Art Alliance pilot program to help pave the way for getting art back in schools!  I had two 2nd grade classes during which we discussed what mandalas are, where we see them, what centering is, how we can get centered with some yoga breathing and spinning movements, and then went to work.  There was a large  variety; some were spirals, pies, clocks, flowers, all starting small and then filling the page.  Next class will consist of spreading out a large canvas on the floor, and incorporating each child’s mandala onto a larger sphere.  This will then be the floor pattern or map for some of the classes to perform on in April.  Other classes will keep the canvas to hang as a tapestry.  I was struck by one child who asked if she could take home a blank piece of paper.  Of course we said yes, and it seemed to make her day.  I wonder why, in what I imagine to be one of the wealthiest places in the world, a single piece of paper to draw on is a scarcity.

Interfaith Services winter shelter open house
Open house at new Winter Shelter at Interfaith Services, Escondido, December 2012
mandala mural with me crouching fixed by gina
Painting the walls at the new Winter Shelter, with Escondido Arts Partnership, November, 2012
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