Friends of Rogers to host “Magical Mandala Moments” at Rogers Center

This mandala was created using found materials in nature. Be inspired by the beauty of Rogers Center while creating unique pieces during “Magical Mandala Moments” on September 23. Photo courtesy Donnalyn Shuster

How does the land shape people….and how do people shape the land? On September 23, Friends of Rogers will host another session of “The Artist As Naturalist,” a series focusing on art as a personal experience with nature, and how one’s own individual experiences influence artistic creation.

“Magical Mandala Moments” will be held from 10 am until 12:30 pm at Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne. Explore differences between temporary and permanent art installations, use of the natural landscape, and the philosophy of Andy Goldsworthy while designing mandalas. The purpose of a mandala is to reflect on nature and the universe.

Creation of these unique pieces embodies reflection, and personal arrangement of images that can be symbolic in nature. Participants have the option of building either directly on the ground or on a flat surface for preservation, with time for design experimentation and reflection with a focus on mindful creation. In keeping with the philosophy of mandalas, larger temporary pieces will be left to return to nature. (Photos/sketches will be encouraged to “preserve” the artwork.) Others who wish to create permanent mandalas will be guided in methods to do so.

Arts Educator Donnalyn Shuster is facilitating the series, made possible with public funds from the Chenango Arts Council’s Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the NYS Council on the Arts, with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Shuster holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education. She has a diverse amount of experience in visual arts education, with a public-school teaching career spanning thirty-six years. A prolific artist, Shuster’s work received awards from the Cooperstown Art Association Regional Exhibition, the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts Canal Days Regional Show, the New York State Art Teacher’s Association Members Exhibition, the New York State Federation of China Painters Porcelain Painting School, and the NYSATA Central Section Members Show.

“We are very excited that Donnalyn is leading this dynamic program,” said Simon Solomon, executive director. “She will provide unique insight and guidance for participants as they seek to experience the outdoors as an extension of their own creative expression.”

“Magical Mandala Moments” is recommended for ages 13 and older. Pre-registrations are due by noon on September 22; admission is $10 for members and $12 for not-yet-members. All materials are included.

Rogers Center is operated by Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers educational programs for people of all ages. Summer hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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