Samuel Dorsky Museum presents Tibetan sand mandala workshop at SUNY New Paltz

NEW PALTZ — The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York will present a sand mandala workshop with Tibetan artist Rabkar Wangchuk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, Student Union Multipurpose Room, on the New Paltz campus. This rare opportunity is part of an ongoing series of public programs held in conjunction with The Dorsky’s current exhibition, Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art (through December 15).

Rabkar Wangchuk, a former monk and a working artist, trained in thangka painting as well as other forms of traditional Tibetan Buddhist art, served as lead visual artist for nine years at the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts (TIPA) in his birthplace of Dharamsala. He was trained under the revered teacher late Venerable Ngawang Norbu from Tibet. Over 20 years, Wangchuk mastered and pursued perfection in woodcarving, butter sculpture, and consecration of color-particle Mandala for which he was awarded an appreciation certificate from the Gyudmed Tantric University.

From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wangchuk will demonstrate and discuss the process and significance of mandala and its symbolism. In Tibetan Buddhism, a mandala is an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing some aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of some guiding principle. Mandala also helps to eradicate human negativity and to find a real quality of inner peace, love, and harmony.

After a lunch break, the workshop will resume with guidance in creating individual mandala motifs by participants until 3 p.m. At that time, Wangchuk will answer questions over tea.

Participants ages 12 and up are invited and observers are welcome throughout the day. No prior experience in art making or meditation is required for participation in this workshop. Registration is $10. The fee includes materials. Contact to pre-register by Friday, Oct. 18.

The Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the State University of New York at New Paltz provide ongoing support for The Dorsky’s exhibitions and programs. Additional support for Anonymous public education programs has been provided by The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation.


The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, is fast gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, the Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, and Carolee Schneemann.

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, call (845) 257-3844 or visit