KtRusch.ArtExchangeWithExpressYourselfMilwaukeeAndDrepungLoselingMonasteryIndia History

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October 02, 2013, at 01:04 PM by kt rusch -
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In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Wisconsin Correctional system initiated an art project that involved canvas cloth backdrops to be used in future performances. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other Express Yourself sites in Milwaukee. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. One of the three cloths made a journey far beyond Milwaukee, indeed it traveled halfway around our planet and back

The Journey of the Cloth started at the Juvenile Detention Center in Milwaukee, where we delineated a border region using masking tape. The center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. Five Milwaukee youth were in my group. Each one worked on a section of border using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that our cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India, where I was due at the Drepung Assembly Hall Inauguration in January 2008. At the time, i did not have a specific plan for the cloth in India; I just knew that it would be traveling with me. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A strong desire to leave a significant mark on this cloth arose in our Detention group, as the idea percolated that our art would be seen by others in India. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about expansiveness and going beyond the current walls that contain us. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”?

Fast forward to January 2008, I packed the cloth and a few other items and embarked on a two day journey to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in Mundgod, Karnataka State in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth, or if there would even be time at the inauguration ceremony to be with an art project. The Dalai Lama was teaching everyday after the initial ceremony. I had no idea of time - would it be an ally or a constraint. I didn’t know what language barriers could arise and even if I could explain this project with its incarcerated youth border-painting artists, and myself as artist/facilitator at all to the Tibetans.

to:

In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Wisconsin Correctional system initiated an art project that involved canvas cloth backdrops to be used in future performances. One of the purposes of these cloth backdrops was to open artistic exchanges between youth at the various Express Yourself sites in Milwaukee. We wanted the Milwaukee youths to know about each other - from Detention center to St. Aemilian Lakeside Residential to alternative high schools and after school clubs that EYM targets in our unique style of therapeutic art. These unity-themed, traveling backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. One of the three cloths made a journey far beyond Milwaukee, indeed it traveled halfway around our planet and back.

The Journey of the Cloth commenced at the Juvenile Detention Center in Milwaukee, where we delineated a border region using masking tape. The center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. Five Milwaukee youth were in my group. Each one worked on a section of border using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that our cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India, where I was due at the Drepung Assembly Hall Inauguration in January 2008.

At the time, i did not have a specific plan for the cloth in India; I just knew that it would be traveling with me. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A strong desire to leave a significant mark on this cloth arose in our Detention group, as the idea percolated that our art would be seen by others in India. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about expansiveness and going beyond the current walls that contain us. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough?”

Fast forward to January 2008, I packed the cloth and a few other items and embarked on a two day journey to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in Mundgod, Karnataka State in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth backdrop, or if there would even be time at the inauguration ceremony to be with an art project. The Dalai Lama was teaching everyday after the initial ceremony. I had no idea of time - would it be an ally or a constraint. I didn’t know what language barriers could arise and even if I could explain this project with its incarcerated youth border-painting artists, and myself as artist/facilitator at all to the Tibetans.

October 02, 2013, at 12:53 PM by kt rusch -
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In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Wisconsin Corrections system initiated an art project that involved canvas cloth backdrops to be used in future performances. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other Express Yourself sites in Milwaukee. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. One of the three cloths made a journey far beyond Milwaukee, indeed it traveled halfway around our planet and back

It all started at the Juvenile Detention Center in Milwaukee, where we painted a border region while the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. Each one worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India, where I was due at the Drepung Assembly Hall Inauguration in January. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A strong desire to leave a significant mark on this cloth arose in our Detention group, because it would be seen by others in India. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Indeed, it was good enough!

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth. Soon after arriving, I became connected to Tashi and the youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation, to receive and education, and to gain Freedom. Tashi became my translator and we worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit. Tashi, together with the founder of Gyapa Khansten Tibetan community, Kuchchok Choephel, were instrumental in the painting of the cloth.

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In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Wisconsin Correctional system initiated an art project that involved canvas cloth backdrops to be used in future performances. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other Express Yourself sites in Milwaukee. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. One of the three cloths made a journey far beyond Milwaukee, indeed it traveled halfway around our planet and back

The Journey of the Cloth started at the Juvenile Detention Center in Milwaukee, where we delineated a border region using masking tape. The center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. Five Milwaukee youth were in my group. Each one worked on a section of border using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that our cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India, where I was due at the Drepung Assembly Hall Inauguration in January 2008. At the time, i did not have a specific plan for the cloth in India; I just knew that it would be traveling with me. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A strong desire to leave a significant mark on this cloth arose in our Detention group, as the idea percolated that our art would be seen by others in India. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about expansiveness and going beyond the current walls that contain us. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”?

Fast forward to January 2008, I packed the cloth and a few other items and embarked on a two day journey to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in Mundgod, Karnataka State in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth, or if there would even be time at the inauguration ceremony to be with an art project. The Dalai Lama was teaching everyday after the initial ceremony. I had no idea of time - would it be an ally or a constraint. I didn’t know what language barriers could arise and even if I could explain this project with its incarcerated youth border-painting artists, and myself as artist/facilitator at all to the Tibetans.

Ganesha smiled. Obstacles fell away and fortunately, soon after arriving, I became connected to Tashi and the youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation. Ah— the stories of the dangerous journeys out of Tibet across the mountains in hopes and dreams of education, freedom, enlightenment. Tashi became my translator (and friend) and we worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit. Tashi, together with the founder of Gyapa Khansten Tibetan community, Kuchchok Choephel, were instrumental in the painting of the cloth.
Just for the record here, Ven Kungchok is my dear friend and mentor.

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At this time at the monastery, special ceremonies and teachings were being given by the Dalai Lama to inaugurate the new assembly hall at Drepung Monastery in Exile. Every morning thousands attended these teachings and every afternoon, our little group would gather at Gyapa Kangsten and work on the cloth.

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As mentioned, special ceremonies, teachings and empowerments were being given by the Dalai Lama to inaugurate the new assembly hall at Drepung Monastery. Every morning thousands attended these teachings and every afternoon, our little group would gather in the cortyard at Gyapa Kangsten and work on the cloth.

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On the first day, without hesitation, they decided that the flag of Tibet should be the initial image on the cloth. Next, they decided to paint the slogan of Tibet, OM MANI PADME HUM. This slogan is a mantra, a prayer invoking the bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (in Sanskrit- Avalokiteshvara, in Chinese- Guanyin). The colors blue, red, yellow, orange, and white represent a syllable of the mantra.

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On the first day, without hesitation, the Tibetans decided that the flag of Tibet should be the initial image on the cloth. Next, they decided to paint the slogan of Tibet, OM MANI PADME HUM, sacred mantra, a prayer invoking the bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (in Sanskrit- Avalokiteshvara, in Chinese- Guanyin). The colors blue, red, yellow, orange, and white represent each syllable of the mantra. This mantra contains the meaning of the complete stages of the path to enlightenment - the union of a method together with the attainment of highest wisdom. Six syllables. Deep meaning. Highest goal for humanity and more. This is the slogan of Tibet. “What planet am I on?”, I reflected as the paint went down on the cloth.

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A yak, the well-loved animal representing Tibet, was painted next. Then the words “Universal Love” and “World Peace” with a Dove of Peace were added.

Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. “Universal Love” a poem by Tashi was videotaped and presented at our annual EYM show at Marquette in Spring of 2008.

Back in the USA, the cloth arrived at 8th Street school, another Express Yourself Milwaukee site. The high school youth heard about the cloth’s journey from the Milwaukee Detention Center to Tibetan Refugee community in India, watched a short video of the Tibetans working on the cloth, and then had a turn of their own to paint. Seeing and hearing about the Tibetans and their quest for freedom inspired the kids to paint an American flag. Later the word FREEDOM was added and considering where the cloth had been, this had become a motif of the piece.

to:

A yak, the well-loved animal representing Tibet, was laid down next. Then the words “Universal Love” and “World Peace” with a Dove of Peace were added. The group decided on these words and symbols. So inspiring.

Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was beyond helpful in Tibetan/English translation. with this project and with my conversations with Kungchok. “Universal Love” a poem by Tashi was videotaped and presented at our annual EYM show at Marquette in Spring of 2008.

Spring 2008. Back in the USA, the cloth arrived at 8th Street school, another Express Yourself Milwaukee site. The high school youth heard about the cloth’s journey from the Milwaukee Detention Center to Tibetan Refugee community in India, watched a short video of the Tibetans working on the cloth, and then had a turn of their own to paint. Seeing and hearing about the Tibetans and their quest for freedom inspired the kids to paint an American flag. Later the word FREEDOM was added and considering where the cloth had been, this had become a motif of the piece.

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As far as the impact of this project, I would say that everyone who worked on the cloth left a mark, heard a story as the project unfolded and then contributed to the story, as the cloth made its journey. Youth who never met each other, learned about each other and their life situations from Detention, to a refugee community, to a high school in Milwaukee. The discussions that ensued as we painted were very positive and enlightening in this cross-cultural pollination of art and ideas. I feel the EYM staff were also impacted in a positive way. We did not know the exact journey that this cloth would take, but we were open to possibilities. That openness allowed for some wonderful art to be created with the youth. It was a pleasure to see the cloth displayed at Marquette University last spring. In the future, we can continue to display this work and discuss its worldly journey. This piece will have a continuing educational value.

to:

As far as the impact of this project, I would say that everyone who worked on the cloth left a mark, heard a story as the project unfolded and then contributed to the story, as the cloth journeyed on its pathway. Youth who never met each other, learned about each other and their life situations from Detention, to a refugee community, to a high school in Milwaukee. The discussions that ensued as we painted were very positive and enlightening in this cross-cultural pollination of art and ideas. I feel the Express Yourself Milwaukee staff were also impacted in a positive way. We did not know the exact path that this cloth would take, but we were open to possibilities. That openness allowed for some wonderful art to be created with the youth. It was a pleasure to see the cloth displayed at Marquette University last spring. In the future, we can continue to display this work and discuss its worldly journey, in ongoing educational and inspirational discussions. This is why we work it like this at EYM — through all the challenges and obstacles. We create, we exchange, we share, we value each other, indeed, we love each other.

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Also at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010 with Express Yourself Milwaukee Art Exhibit

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Then on to Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010 with Express Yourself Milwaukee Art Exhibit

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Stop by and see it!

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Thank You, KT

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Thank You, kt rusch

May 30, 2012, at 01:44 PM by kt rusch -
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VIDEO of Express Yourself Milwaukee - Tibetan India Art Exchange is here:

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Watch the VIDEO JOURNEY of the Cloth— Express Yourself Milwaukee - Tibetan India Art Exchange:

May 30, 2012, at 01:43 PM by kt rusch -
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http://www.KTRuschMusic.net

May 30, 2012, at 01:43 PM by kt rusch -
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In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Corrections system initiated a visual art project of painting canvas cloth backdrops. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other EYM sites in Milwaukee and beyond. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University.

One of three cloths made a journey halfway around the planet and back At the Juvenile Detention center in Milwaukee, we painted a border region; the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. They each worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A feeling of wanting to leave a mark on this cloth, because it would be seen by others in India became a focal point of the session. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Indeed, it was good enough!

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth. Soon after arriving, I became connected to Tashi and the youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation. Tashi became my translator and we worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit. Tashi, together with the founder of Gyapa Khansten Tibetan community, Kuchchok Choephel, were instrumental in the painting of the cloth.

to:

In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Wisconsin Corrections system initiated an art project that involved canvas cloth backdrops to be used in future performances. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other Express Yourself sites in Milwaukee. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. One of the three cloths made a journey far beyond Milwaukee, indeed it traveled halfway around our planet and back

It all started at the Juvenile Detention Center in Milwaukee, where we painted a border region while the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. Each one worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India, where I was due at the Drepung Assembly Hall Inauguration in January. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A strong desire to leave a significant mark on this cloth arose in our Detention group, because it would be seen by others in India. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Indeed, it was good enough!

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth. Soon after arriving, I became connected to Tashi and the youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation, to receive and education, and to gain Freedom. Tashi became my translator and we worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit. Tashi, together with the founder of Gyapa Khansten Tibetan community, Kuchchok Choephel, were instrumental in the painting of the cloth.

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At this time at the monastery, special ceremonies and teachings were being given by the Dalai Lama to the inaugurate the new assembly hall at Drepung Monastery in Exile. Every morning thousands attended these teachings and every afternoon, our little group would gather at Gyapa Kangsten and work on the cloth.

to:

At this time at the monastery, special ceremonies and teachings were being given by the Dalai Lama to inaugurate the new assembly hall at Drepung Monastery in Exile. Every morning thousands attended these teachings and every afternoon, our little group would gather at Gyapa Kangsten and work on the cloth.

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Back in the USA, the cloth arrived at 8th Street school, another EYM site. The high school youth heard about the cloth at the Milwaukee Detention Center, watched a short video of the Tibetans working on the cloth, and then had a turn of their own to paint. Seeing and hearing about the Tibetans and their quest for freedom inspired the kids paint an American flag. Later the word FREEDOM was added and considering where the cloth had been, this really had become a motif of the piece.

to:

Back in the USA, the cloth arrived at 8th Street school, another Express Yourself Milwaukee site. The high school youth heard about the cloth’s journey from the Milwaukee Detention Center to Tibetan Refugee community in India, watched a short video of the Tibetans working on the cloth, and then had a turn of their own to paint. Seeing and hearing about the Tibetans and their quest for freedom inspired the kids to paint an American flag. Later the word FREEDOM was added and considering where the cloth had been, this had become a motif of the piece.

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Also at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010 with Express Yourself Milwaukee Exhibit

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Also at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010 with Express Yourself Milwaukee Art Exhibit

May 30, 2012, at 01:31 PM by kt rusch -
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UPDATE 5/12/12
The cloth was displayed at Marquette University in 2008.
Also at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010 with Express Yourself Milwaukee Exhibit
Today the cloth is on display at Express Yourself Milwaukee Studio on the corner of 33rd Street and Lisbon.

VIDEO of Express Yourself Milwaukee - Tibetan India Art Exchange is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9LjO9DFjes

www.KTRuschMusic.net?

Thank You, KT

January 28, 2009, at 01:35 PM by KT Rusch -
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‘Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India

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Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India

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One of three cloths made a journey halfway around the planet and back At the Juvenile Detention center in Milwaukee, we painted a border region; the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. They each worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A feeling of wanting to leave a mark on this cloth, because it would be seen by others in India became a focal point of the session. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Because of the prospect of exchange, I would have to say that an underlying desire to do well existed in the session.

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. The youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit.

to:

One of three cloths made a journey halfway around the planet and back At the Juvenile Detention center in Milwaukee, we painted a border region; the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. They each worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A feeling of wanting to leave a mark on this cloth, because it would be seen by others in India became a focal point of the session. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Indeed, it was good enough!

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. I wasn’t sure who would work on this beautiful cloth. Soon after arriving, I became connected to Tashi and the youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation. Tashi became my translator and we worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit. Tashi, together with the founder of Gyapa Khansten Tibetan community, Kuchchok Choephel, were instrumental in the painting of the cloth.

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The youth of Gyapa Khangsten worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.

   

Without hesitation, they decided that the flag of Tibet should be the first image on the cloth. Next they decided to paint the slogan of Tibet, OM MANI PADME HUM. This slogan is a mantra, a prayer invoking the bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (in Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara, in Chinese Guanyin). The colors blue, red, yellow, orange, and white represent a syllable of the mantra.

’‘’
to:

At this time at the monastery, special ceremonies and teachings were being given by the Dalai Lama to the inaugurate the new assembly hall at Drepung Monastery in Exile. Every morning thousands attended these teachings and every afternoon, our little group would gather at Gyapa Kangsten and work on the cloth.

On the first day, without hesitation, they decided that the flag of Tibet should be the initial image on the cloth. Next, they decided to paint the slogan of Tibet, OM MANI PADME HUM. This slogan is a mantra, a prayer invoking the bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (in Sanskrit- Avalokiteshvara, in Chinese- Guanyin). The colors blue, red, yellow, orange, and white represent a syllable of the mantra.

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Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. “Universal Love” a poem by Tashi was videotaped and presented at our anual EYM show at Marquette in Spring of 2008.
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Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. “Universal Love” a poem by Tashi was videotaped and presented at our annual EYM show at Marquette in Spring of 2008.
January 28, 2009, at 01:20 PM by KT Rusch -
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The youth of Gyapa Khangsten worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.
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The youth of Gyapa Khangsten worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.

January 28, 2009, at 01:19 PM by KT Rusch -
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‘+Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India+

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‘Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India

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January 28, 2009, at 01:17 PM by KT Rusch -
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Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India

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‘+Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India+

July 22, 2008, at 12:22 PM by KT Rusch -
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Painting the Cloth, The youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung in India worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.
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The youth of Gyapa Khangsten worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.
July 22, 2008, at 12:21 PM by KT Rusch -
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July 22, 2008, at 12:20 PM by KT Rusch -
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July 22, 2008, at 12:19 PM by KT Rusch -
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A yak, the well-loved animal representing Tibet, was painted next. Then the words “Universal Love” and “World Peace” with a Dove of Peace were added. Shortly after this, my camera broke. So I will need to add a photo of the finished piece soon!

to:

A yak, the well-loved animal representing Tibet, was painted next. Then the words “Universal Love” and “World Peace” with a Dove of Peace were added.

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Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. Poem by Tashi coming soon!
to:
Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. “Universal Love” a poem by Tashi was videotaped and presented at our anual EYM show at Marquette in Spring of 2008.

Back in the USA, the cloth arrived at 8th Street school, another EYM site. The high school youth heard about the cloth at the Milwaukee Detention Center, watched a short video of the Tibetans working on the cloth, and then had a turn of their own to paint. Seeing and hearing about the Tibetans and their quest for freedom inspired the kids paint an American flag. Later the word FREEDOM was added and considering where the cloth had been, this really had become a motif of the piece.

As far as the impact of this project, I would say that everyone who worked on the cloth left a mark, heard a story as the project unfolded and then contributed to the story, as the cloth made its journey. Youth who never met each other, learned about each other and their life situations from Detention, to a refugee community, to a high school in Milwaukee. The discussions that ensued as we painted were very positive and enlightening in this cross-cultural pollination of art and ideas. I feel the EYM staff were also impacted in a positive way. We did not know the exact journey that this cloth would take, but we were open to possibilities. That openness allowed for some wonderful art to be created with the youth. It was a pleasure to see the cloth displayed at Marquette University last spring. In the future, we can continue to display this work and discuss its worldly journey. This piece will have a continuing educational value.

July 22, 2008, at 12:17 PM by KT Rusch -
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In September 2007, we began painting a cloth backdrop with youth in the Corrections system of Milwaukee with the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee. This cloth, along with others, will be displayed at our annual show on Thursday May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. See www.expressyourselfmilwaukee.org. The center of the cloth was left blank so that youth at other sites could contribute. In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India.

to:

In September 2007, the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee working together with youth in the Corrections system initiated a visual art project of painting canvas cloth backdrops. One of the purposes of these cloths was to open an artistic exchange with youth at other EYM sites in Milwaukee and beyond. These backdrops were eventually displayed at our annual show on May 15, 2008 at Marquette University.

One of three cloths made a journey halfway around the planet and back At the Juvenile Detention center in Milwaukee, we painted a border region; the center of the cloth was intentionally left blank. About five kids were in my group. They each worked on a section using paints, brushes, sponges, and woodblocks. We discussed the hope that this cloth would eventually go to a Tibetan refugee community in exile in south India. The kids were intrigued by this idea and asked questions about India and refugees. A feeling of wanting to leave a mark on this cloth, because it would be seen by others in India became a focal point of the session. One youth made expansive spirals to convey the universe. We talked about peace in our lives and in the world. One youth kept asking me, “Is it good enough”? Because of the prospect of exchange, I would have to say that an underlying desire to do well existed in the session.

In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India. The youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung, some of whom walked across the Himalayas to escape the Chinese occupation worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of my visit.

April 02, 2008, at 02:57 PM by KT Rusch -
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In September 2007, we began painting a cloth backdrop with youth in the Corrections system of Milwaukee with the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee. This cloth, along with others, will be displayed at our annual show on May 14, 2008 at Marquette University. See www.expressyourselfmilwaukee.org. The center of the cloth was left blank so that youth at other sites could contribute. In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India.

to:

In September 2007, we began painting a cloth backdrop with youth in the Corrections system of Milwaukee with the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee. This cloth, along with others, will be displayed at our annual show on Thursday May 15, 2008 at Marquette University. See www.expressyourselfmilwaukee.org. The center of the cloth was left blank so that youth at other sites could contribute. In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India.

March 26, 2008, at 09:13 PM by KT Rusch -
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Art Exchange with Express Yourself Milwaukee and Drepung Loseling Monastery, India

In September 2007, we began painting a cloth backdrop with youth in the Corrections system of Milwaukee with the artistic team at Express Yourself Milwaukee. This cloth, along with others, will be displayed at our annual show on May 14, 2008 at Marquette University. See www.expressyourselfmilwaukee.org. The center of the cloth was left blank so that youth at other sites could contribute. In January 2008, I brought the cloth to Drepung Loseling, a Tibetan monastery in exile in southern India.

Painting the Cloth, The youth of Gyapa Khangsten community at Drepung in India worked on the cloth every afternoon during the week of the inauguration of the new assembly hall at Drepung.
   

Without hesitation, they decided that the flag of Tibet should be the first image on the cloth. Next they decided to paint the slogan of Tibet, OM MANI PADME HUM. This slogan is a mantra, a prayer invoking the bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (in Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara, in Chinese Guanyin). The colors blue, red, yellow, orange, and white represent a syllable of the mantra.

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A yak, the well-loved animal representing Tibet, was painted next. Then the words “Universal Love” and “World Peace” with a Dove of Peace were added. Shortly after this, my camera broke. So I will need to add a photo of the finished piece soon!

Special Thanks to Tashi and friends at Gyapa Khangsten, Drepung Loseling Monastery! Tashi is wearing the magenta Express Yourself Milwaukee shirt. He was very helpful in Tibetan/English translation. Poem by Tashi coming soon!
Last edited by kt rusch. Based on work by KT Rusch.  Page last modified on October 02, 2013, at 01:04 PM

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