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.


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.   Page last modified on March 26, 2008

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