Florida CraftArt presents:
The Sacred Arts Tour
January 8 – January 14, 2024
Photos by Brian James
The Tibetan Buddhist monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery return once again to the Florida CraftArt exhibition space to create a dazzling sand mandala during the week of January 8th. Over the period of several days eight visiting monks will construct the mandala, painstakingly placing millions of colorful grains of sand to form an intricate diagram that represents the enlightened mind and the ideal world.
The hugely popular event has attracted the community to the non-profit downtown gallery for years, but unfortunately was forced to take a hiatus due to the pandemic. To celebrate the return of this joyous event, this year the organization has added events to the list of ways the public can engage with monks. The creation of the sand mandala begins on Monday morning with an opening ceremony. The days following will include a morning meditation with the group, a Tibetan cultural pageant, and a hands-on rock painting and mala making workshop that the monks often participate in. The week ends with the Dissolution Ceremony, where the monks sweep away their work, then lead the crowd in a spectacular procession to the bayfront, where a portion of the sand is respectfully scattered at the waters edge. The rest of the sand is portioned out so that it can be easily shared with onlookers shortly after.
During the week, the exhibition gallery walls will be lined with artworks by the 19 artists that call The ArtLofts home. The collection of second floor studios just above the Florida CraftArt galleries are open to the public on many days, but always during Second Saturday ArtWalk, when the space is filled with visitors interested in meeting the hospitable group of artists that have established workspaces there. Also, on view in the retail gallery, The Mandala Project will feature these auspicious symbols created by 64 well-known local artists.
Schedule of Events
- Creation of the Wisdom Sand Mandala, Monday, January 8 – Saturday, January 14
- Opening Ceremony, Monday, January 8, 10:30 am
- Morning Meditation, Wednesday, January 10, 10:00 am
- *Tibetan Cultural Pageant, Thursday, January 11, 6:00 pm
- *Rock Painting, Saturday, January 13, 11:00 am and 12:00 pm
- *Mala Making, Saturday, January 13, 2:00 pm
- Dissolution Ceremony, Sunday, January 14, 12:00 pm
*Ticketed event, all events take place at Florida CraftArt. Ticket sales will begin on December 28, 2023.
The Tibetan Monks Sacred Arts Tour is presented by Jones & Dunn Legacy Group Premier Sotheby’s International Realty with additional support from Fifth Third Bank. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Liz Cooper at #727-821-7391 or [email protected].