One of Savannah’s most popular art events, the Mystical Arts of Tibet returns as the Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery revisit the Jepson Center to create a sand mandala in the Eckburg Atrium during a weeklong residency. To date, the monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 venues throughout the United States and Europe, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the monks’ very first appearance at the Jepson Center!
Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “sacred cosmogram.” The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, during which the lamas consecrate the site through chanting, music, and mantra recitation, and draw the outline of the mandala. On the following days, they will lay down the colored sands, which this year will take the form of the Akshobya Mandala, also known as the “Unshakable Victor,” for conflict resolution and peace.
Visitors may watch the monks at work during normal museum hours in the Jepson Center Atrium on Wednesday through Saturday. On Sunday, the mandala will be destroyed—a metaphor for the impermanence of life. The sands are placed in an urn, with half of the sand distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony. The remainder will be carried to the Savannah River and dispersed to the ocean for planetary healing.
Funding is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs.