A group of Tibetan monks will spend four weeks on the Central Coast, creating elaborate sand paintings and presenting cultural performances.
The monks, who represent the Drepung Gomang Monastery, will begin their visit by creating a green tara mandala April 13 through 17 at Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo. After drawing out guidelines, artists use small tubes, funnels and scrapers to lay down colored grains of sand in intricate patterns; the mandala is then ritualistically destroyed to represent the transitory nature of life.
On April 17, the monks will perform a cultural pageant at the gallery featuring chanting, song, dance and debate. Although viewing the creation of the mandala is free, a donation of $20 is suggested for the performance.
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The monks then travel elsewhere on the Central Coast to create more mandalas. They’ll visit Earthtones Gallery in Paso Robles from April 21 to 24, the Oceano Train Depot from April 29 to May 3 and Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria on May 4 to 8.
In addition, the monks will perform at the Templeton Performing Arts Center on April 24, with a suggested donation of $25, and the Hiawatha Lodge in Halcyon on May 1, with a suggested $20 donation.
They’ll also join Chumash tribal members April 25 to perform blessings at Eldwayen Ocean Park in Shell Beach, and attend the Earth Day Fair and Fun*Raiser at Branch Mill Organic Farm and Retreat Center in Arroyo Grande on April 26.
For more information, and a complete schedule, call Anet Carlin at 466-4653 or visit http://www.charley.net.