Renowned mandala artist Losang Samten will spend five days creating a sacred sand mandala in the Colby College Museum of Art, beginning Tuesday afternoon, October 11. The artist will continue his work from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day through the dismantling ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 15. Samten will also give a talk, “Mandala Art and the Preservation of Tibet, in the Colby College Museum of Art on Thursday, October 13, at 7 p.m.
Originally from central Tibet, Samten studied with the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and later joined the Namgyal Monastery, where he earned a master’s degree in 1985. He founded Buddhist centers in Philadelphia, Hartford, El Paso, and Reno. In 1995, Samten gave back his monastic vows and entered a lay practitioner’s life.
Samten has created sand mandalas, which are considered to be purifying and healing, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. He served as the religious technical advisor and sand mandala supervisor for the film Kundun. In 2002, Samten received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Colby College Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to people with disabilities.