Sam Francis Gallery to Host Artist Residency Project:

Losang Samten

The Wheel Of Life

Residency: January 22-25, Sam Francis Gallery

Reception: Friday, January 25 // 4-6 p.m.

The Venerable Losang Samten, a renowned Tibetan scholar and a former Buddhist monk, will create two mandalas, “The Four Harmonious Friends” at the Elementary School and “Wheel of Life” at the Sam Francis Gallery, for his residency at Crossroads. The Wheel of Life is 2,500 years old and was a gift from Buddha. When Losang Samten brought this gift to the United States, he was the first artist to create this mandala in sand in the United States.

There are many traditional designs of mandalas, each of which contains its own lessons. For any individual design, while the design is repeated, no two mandalas ever look the same. Yet each is the same in concept. The same symbols, characters and designs are used, yet not in a rigid duplication. The mandala reflects back to us information about the nature of the human mind, which has a strong tendency toward the illusion of permanence. The medium of sand, however, reminds the viewer of the ultimate impermanence of this existence as well as of all things. 

All visitors are invited to observe the artist at work in Sam Francis Gallery during his first week to discuss the creative process with Losang and to learn about the meanings of the mandala elements. The development of each mandala will be available to view on the Crossroads website. On Friday, Jan. 25, at the end of his week in the gallery, Losang will perform a dismantling ceremony. Attendees will be invited to take part in the process. The final portion of the dismantling ritual ends by pouring the grains of sand into a body of water.

To view the mandala in progress, click here.