Buddhist monks to paint with sand

Montgomery Advertiser, August 18, 2008

Auburn, Alabama (USA) -- Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will fashion a sand painting Thursday to Sunday at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn.

From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand is one of the most unusual and exquisite.

Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly placed on a flat platform during several days or weeks to form the image of a mandala, a Sanskrit word meaning "sacred cosmogram," according to information from the museum.

The monks will perform the opening ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and they will work on the sand painting from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The public is invited to stop by to watch the monks as they work. Then, at 2 p.m. Sunday, there will be a closing ceremony.

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is at 901 College St., Auburn. Call 334-844-1484 or visit jcsm.auburn.edu.