Exhibit celebrates art, culture of Tibet

Tibetan Losel dolls are on dispay at the Global Village Museum in Fort Collins. / CAMERON REDWINE / THE COLORADOAN

Colloradoan.com, 4:54 PM, Nov. 16, 2011 |
Written by Stacy Nick

The Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures’ new exhibit on Tibet seeks to go above the highest region on Earth’s social and political strife to celebrate its traditions and its beauty.

“Tibet: Rooftop of the World” is a three-part show that honors both Tibet’s past and present, as well as its impact around the globe, said Erik Hofseth, Coordinating Director for the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures.

The main portion of the exhibit includes more than 45 Losel dolls collected by museum co-founder Jeanne Nash, who died last summer.

One of the largest collections of its kind in the country, the dolls were all made by Tibetan monks in exile, Hofseth said. The dolls serve as both an ethnographical record – preserving traditional crafts, as well as representing various regions, rituals and heritages – as well as works of art.

The dolls – made using wire, paper and cotton for the bodies and Tibetan clay for the faces and masks – each are adorned with costumes that represent various areas of Tibet.

Even the boxes they arrived in are works of art, said Hofseth, who put one of the boxes Nash received a doll in on display to showcase the gorgeous stamps that cover an entire side of the package. Nash, a Fort Collins artist, was an avid collector of art and cultural artifacts from around the world.

“Out of all of her collections, I believe this was her favorite,” said Nash’s daughter, Heidi, who is the museum’s board president. “These in particular spoke to her.”

And while there is much political controversy surrounding Tibet, this is not a political show, Hofseth said. It is a show about the region’s art and artifacts. “This exhibit is made to be educational, to showcase this culture,” he said.

That includes the “Conscious Journeys” photo exhibit, featuring images by Boulder photographer Marvin Ross, which were shot for the Tibetan Village Project. This nonprofit, nonpolitical organization is dedicated to promoting sustainable development in Tibet while preserving the region’s rich cultural heritage.

The photos include intimate portraits as well as landscapes that showcase both the beauty and the harsh reality of life today in Tibet. “These are the people – the place – that are Tibet now,” Hofseth said.

The show also features images and art from the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes. Founded in 1971 by Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism and founder of Shambhala Training, the center focuses on providing Buddhist meditation, yoga and other contemplative disciplines.

As part of the exhibit, attendees can make a flag to add to traditional Tibetan prayer flags that will be hung throughout the museum; there also will be a quiet area where people can stop and reflect amid the hustle and bustle this time of year, Hofseth said, adding “This is the time of season where we could all use a chance to take a minute to be mindful.”

‘TIBET: ROOFTOP OF THE WORLD’

WHEN: Now on display through Jan. 14; museum hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

WHERE: Global Village Museum of
Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins

COST: $5 general admission; $3 for seniors and students; $1 for children

INFORMATION: www.GlobalVillageMuseum.com or (970) 221-4600

SPECIAL EVENT: “Conscious Journey into Tibet,” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9, featuring Tibetan Village Project Executive Director Tamdin Wangdu and exhibit photographer Marvin Ross. Admission is $10 (includes admission to exhibit); RSVP by Dec. 6 to info@globalvillagemuseum.org.

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