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Mandala Self-Portrait Art Opening

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Berkshire Waldorf High School Students at the Stockbridge Library

Samantha Stier

Twenty-three Berkshire Waldorf High School students participated in the Mandala Self-Portrait project in Genève Brossard’s art class. The Opening Reception was on Friday, December 8, from 5-7 pm, at the Stockbridge Library. The artwork was installed in the space, and the the student artists led a short talk about their large-scale artworks and the process of creating them.

Student artist Abigail Stearn, class of 2018, spoke about the experience of creating her self-portrait mandala: “When I release my art into the world for others to see and interpret as they will, I am putting myself in a vulnerable position and trusting my work’s meaning that I have dreamt up and then put hours into making a reality.

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“With the mandala project,” Stearn explained, “we began with the core concepts that make up each one of us as an individual by asking, How can I convey who I am in a mandala? My first thoughts were: nature, fire, determination, and silence. I incorporated each one of those into my first sketch… After, as I refined my design, those core aspects became the shapes and movement in the paint and layout of my piece, that to me represent who I am.”

“Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’,” explains Ms. Brossard, Ph.D, art teacher. “But it is more than a shape. The mandala appears in most cultures, across all continents and epochs. The mandala represents wholeness and is considered by many to represent the basic structure of life — from our cells, to our world, to the cosmos itself.

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“Using a variety of techniques and mediums, students designed mandalas with the intention to represent themselves. They studied the international history and usage of the mandala, as well as contemporary public art, and concepts of symbolism in order to contextualize and visualize their own project. The result is a series of large beautiful self portraits, meant to be exhibited in a public space in order to celebrate creativity and connection in our community.”

The student artworks will be installed at the Stockbridge Library for the month of December. Make sure you go and take a look!

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