Urban Mandala

  Urban River Arts

Urban Mandala

As part of the Sculpture Exhibition at 395 Flatbush Avenue, Urban River Arts will invite both children and adults to help create a large Urban Mandala. Making the Mandala will be another incentive for people to visit the show. In this installation, Urban River Arts educators will introduce the art form of Mandalas and facilitate people to use indigenous manufactured and natural materials (that will be available on site) to create the Mandala. Once the design of the Mandala is outlined in chalk on the floor within a circle twelve feet in diameter, the colors and textures of the Mandala will be created by the public over a series of four Saturdays, including a Dismantling Ceremony. In addition, the daily transformation of the Mandala will be documented with photographs, which will also be displayed on site. Click here to see the progress!


Urban Mandala2

The Urban Mandala Project aims to:

  • Dissolve the separation between spectator and artist by inviting people to participate in this interactive installation in which viewers become artists.
  • Introduce the concept of wholeness inherent in what Mandalas represent by inviting people to participate in creating this Mandala little by little, piece by piece, in order to be a part of something larger and more intricate than what is immediately tangible.
  • Recycle local materials, both man-made and natural, into a work of art by modeling how to transform trash and discarded materials into something beautiful.
  • Contemplate the notion of impermanence by inviting people to consciously enjoy and value the process of making the Mandala while at the same time letting go of the finished piece, which will happen at the Dismantling Ceremony as it is swept up and recycled. 


Background Information

In his book, Mandala: Journey to the Center, Bailey Cunningham eloquently describes the history and many layered definitions of the word mandala.

 The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean, “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

“The integrated view of the world represented by the mandala, while long embraced by some Eastern religions, has now begun to emerge in Western religious and secular cultures. Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves, our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose.”

On our planet, living things are made of cells and each cell has a nucleus — all display circles with centers. The crystals that form ice, rocks, and mountains are made of atoms. Each atom is a mandala.

Within the Milky Way galaxy is our solar system and within our solar system, is Earth. Each is a mandala that is part of a larger mandala.

Flowers, the rings found in tree trunks and the spiraling outward and inward of a snail’s shell all reflect the primal mandala pattern. Wherever a center is found radiating outward and inward, there is wholeness–a mandala.



Kimberly Carmody

Founder, Executive Director, Principal Teacher
Urban River Arts
690 St. Marks Ave, ground floor
Brooklyn, NY 11216

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