Tibetan monks visit Lyon College to create, then destroy piece of art

Tibetan monks visit Lyon College to create, then destroy piece of art

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - For the next few days on the Lyon College campus, Tibetan monks will create a beautiful piece of art only to destroy it.

The college asked the monks to create a mandala, an interactive piece of artwork made of colored sand.

The monks will work until Thursday on the mandala and the community is encouraged to come watch them.

This particular event came to Lyon College a few years ago and faculty thought it would be a good event to bring back.

Rachel Newell, communication specialist for the college, said it is a good chance for students and the community to learn about a different culture.

She said many people have visited the theater in just the first two days.

"People have come in, saw the beginning and then come back hours later to see how much they have done and added to it," said Jonathan Davey, student engagement specialist. "I think they are just in awe of how detailed the mandala is and how quickly they are able to work on it."

At Thursday's closing ceremony the monks will destroy the art they have worked on for four days.

"What I find the most interesting about it all is the destruction of the mandala at the end because it is a metaphor for life being impermanent," Newell said. "It is an idea that you can put so much effort into this life that we have on earth but it is not the end."

There is also a community sand painting where people can learn how to create a mandala.

Visitors can get a bag of sand the monks used in the project and the left over sand will be thrown in the White River.

The mandala is located in the Holloway Theater on Lyon's campus and is free to the public.

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