Skip to main content

QR Codes: Integrating Special Instruction

Special Instruction

Special Instruction sessions were given to the students in the learning community Critical Thinking: Catalyst for Success in Science and Math throughout the course of the semester in preparation for Holsenbeck's mini-residency at the College of Charleston.  These sessions included instruction by Jolanda-Pieta van Arnhem on community art projects, art therapy, and the place of the mandala in Buddhist traditions.   Reference Librarian Burton Callicott also provided sessions on campus and local sustainability and recycling efforts and library resources to aid students in researching their final projects, a written paper on engaging citizens and giving back to the community.


Practitioners use the Mandala to visualize in meditation the steps along the Path to Enlightenment.  Similarly, this community art project helps us see in a more positive way to deal with waste and the by products of our society is to acknowledge that trash doesn’t simply cease to exist when we are done with it, just as grief and pain do not go away when they are ignored. The more positive and mutually beneficial way for individuals and society to deal with waste is to transition products into a new phase of life.

Community Art

Bryant Holsenbeck: Bottle Cap Mandala

Environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck started her career as a basketmaker. Now, she’s an environmental artist whose work has been seen across the Southeast. Her mandalas, three-dimensional installations made entirely out of detritus – everyday objects which were used and thrown away. She has also created art out of many other used materials, including used utensils and old shoes.

Bryant Holsenbeck will be conducting a mini-residency at the College of Charleston from October 18-October 22, 2010. During this time, she will be creating one of her mandala masterpieces in the Addlestone Library’s Sanders Rotunda. We will celebrate the opening of Bryant’s mandala on Friday, October 22 at 5pm. Chat with the artist during the opening reception and learn more about sustainability efforts at the College of Charleston and throughout the community!

Members of the community may contribute CLEAN bottle caps and jar lids to be used in the mandala! Simply drop off your caps and lids in any of the receptacles located in the Addlestone Library.  Also, members of the community are encouraged to visit the Addlestone Library on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday that week (October 19-21) between 9am and 4pm to help Bryant create her installation.

Further information about Bryant Holsenbeck's works using recycled bottle caps and jar lids.

Resources on Buddhist Art and Ritual Mandala Construction

General Information about the Directory Button for Navigation Exhibits, General Information and History Page Navigation Button Educational Resources Page Navigation Button Scholarly Websites Page Navigation Button Contact Information Page Navigation Button

About the Directory

This directory is intended to help students, teachers, and both amateur and scholarly researchers find sources on the mandala art form and its history, from its origin in Hindu and Buddhist cultures to adoption in the Western art. The directory focuses on mandalas in Tibetan Buddhism, but includes resources detailing other traditions. The sites included contain summaries and background information, helpful links, and rich images useful to artists and educators seeking to stimulate visual learners and promote literacy in an expansive sense. Some resources are of particular use to educators, coming from major research universities and offering lesson plans and links to further authoritative sources. Significant cultural institutions are included as well.

This directory is not meant to be exhaustive, but provides background on the history and symbolism of the mandala, giving those interested a useful starting point with quality sites that point to further resources.

Back to Top

Construction of the Medicine Buddha sand mandala at the Ackland Art Museum

General Information

Buddhist Art and Ritual from Nepal and Tibet -Construction of the Medicine Buddha sand mandala at the Ackland Art Museum
This website is maintained by the Ackland Museum of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The site contains images from installations of Buddhist art from Tibet and Nepal at the Ackland, including a series of photographs of visiting Tibetan monks in the process of creating a sand mandala in the museum. The site also contains sections on other installations of Tibetan Buddhist art, such as prayer wheels or statues of the goddess Tara, as well as links to exemplary “Art of Tibet” student project sites with links to further resources.

OMuRRA - Online Museum Resources on Asian Art
This featured topic index created by Columbia University Asia for Educators Initiative provides a wealth of external information on mandalas, symbolism, construction and galleries. The OMuRRA is well organized and well presented visually. Each entry under the 6 current results for “mandala” contains its title, museum or hosting the resource, a text description of the exhibit and the link to the exhibit at its institution. Each entry is categorized under “Teaching Art Unit”, “Special Exhibition” or “MET Museum Special Exhibition,” and offers a preview of the exhibit in its category icon.

Sacred Texts
This expansive site offers a free and open archive of texts important to world religions, including unedited texts, translations and commentaries. Reading original texts provides researchers with background and helps to develop a better understanding of the key concepts and beliefs that influence practitioners. Sacred-texts is not sponsored by any religious group or organization, and is dedicated to “tolerance and scholarship”. The texts presented are either original scans from books and essays clearly in the public domain, material that has been presented elsewhere on the Internet, or material included under fair use conditions in printed anthologies.

Back to Top

Educational Resources

The Multiliteracy Mandala - Tibetan Buddhism Resource Site
This site, created in September 2001, is maintained with permission from official institutions of Tibet, namely the Private Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama and The Department of Religion and Culture, Central Tibetan Administration of H.H. the Dalai Lama. The site is rich in multimedia, including lessons with text, audio and video. Resources provide a contemporary look into Tibetan culture from authentic practitioners of that culture, including how they view their own history. The site’s stated aim is to “provide correct and factual teaching” on the Tibetan Buddhist religion.

Tibetan Sand Mandala - The University of Northern Iowa concludes a spiritual experience of Tibet
This site was put together as an educational resource by The University of Northern Iowa. It commemorates the construction of a sand mandala on the campus by four visiting monks. The site includes photos and video from the construction as well as text transcripts of their remarks. It contains handouts, lesson plans, and links to books and further websites on the topic of Tibetan sand mandalas.

The Mandala Project
The Mandala Project is a non-profit educational project started by Lori Bailey Cunningham in Anacortes, WA. The project delivers workshops at K-12 schools in Washington, primarily the Anacortes School District. The organizers actively promote art as a component of pedagogy and invoke Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory as a driving force behind their practice. The site is rich in images of mandalas with accompanying descriptive text, including a mandala gallery created by students and participants as a collective art piece. The site also contains links to outside art education resources.

Multilteracy Mandala
The Multiliteracy Mandala website is maintained by the College of Communication at the University of Texas. The collaborative project allows visitors to create their own mandala (or view others') visualizing concepts in new media literacy. The site is beneficial for both students and educators because it helps to develop a better understanding of "various, complex, and interrelated components of contemporary literacy" and exhibits an original and innovative approach to the mandala concept as a visualization tool in modern academic studies.

Back to Top

Image from Drepung Loseling Monastery - Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Practice and Culture

Scholarly Websites

Drepung Loseling Monastery Center for Tibetan Buddhist Practice, Studies & Culture
This site provides information on Tibetan Buddhist studies, including degree programs available through the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, and focuses on the Emory delegation studying at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Mundgod, India.  The site lists helpful references for practitioners and students.  The site includes many images, including a slideshow, and an updated list of events not only related to the center, but to Tibetan Buddhism around the world, including the Dalai Lama’s speaking schedule and academic conferences related to Buddhist studies.

Exploring the Mandala
This site, maintained by the Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics provides a brief overview of the history of mandalas, sand paintings, computer models and relevant links. The sites includes documentation of monk Pema Losang Chogyen works with Cornell students and staff to create a computer model mandala containing tens of thousands of objects. An animation of this model, called “Exploring the Mandala,” is available from Snow Lion Press. This resource provides an insight to researchers who may want to pursue interdisciplinary studies, or focus on the impact of the mandala concept on more diverse academic areas such as information science and computer programming.

Research in Buddhist Art
This collection of scholarly materials, maintained by Associate Professor Sarah E. Fraser in Department of Art History at Northwestern University, includes photographs, essays and interviews dealing broadly with both Buddhist Art and Chinese Art. The site is aimed at scholars with a strong focus in these subjects. Areas of special focus include “Buddhist Material Culture,” “Modern Painting Practices,” and Republican period art. Much of the essay material, including citation and thematic bibliographies, is in Chinese.

Back to Top

Contact Information

Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem, M.F.A.
Instructor & Training Coordinator
College of Charleston Libraries
Revised 11/23/10

Back to Top

Image Credits

Back to Top

Instructional Design Librarian, Digital Scholarship and Services

Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem M.F.A., M.L.I.S.'s picture
Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem M.F.A., M.L.I.S.
Addlestone Library, Room 101