A traditional sand mandala painting, symbolic of Tibetan culture, created at Galveston College in 1998 by Tibetan monks from the Ganden Shartse Monastery in India has returned and is on display at the Galveston College Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the college’s Fine Arts Building.


The mandala on display was originally created in the middle of the college’s art gallery. For 10 straight days, four Tibetan monks sat on pillows and arched their backs within inches of the ground to meticulously funnel colored sands to create the mandala.


“To see a traditionally made Tibetan mandala in person and not as a photograph in a history book is truly a wonderful and rare sight to behold,” said Amanda Barry Jones, Visual Arts coordinator and Gallery Curator at Galveston College.


mandala symbolizes the universe, totality, or wholeness in Hinduism and Buddhism. Tibetan mandalas are typically destroyed shortly after their creation. The original mandala created at Galveston College and currently on display was allowed to be preserved and kept at the behest of the lead monk, who vowed to take the karmic hit for allowing this to happen, all for the sake of education.


The mandala is on display at the center of the Galveston College Art Gallery and can be viewed during the college’s normal hours of operation, Monday through Friday. The art gallery is free and open to the public.


Visitors can sit, observe and enjoy the sounds of Tibetan monks chanting as they did every day before working on the mandala. Chairs and pillows are available and meant to be used for viewing the mandala. Please observe traditional gallery and museum practices of talking quietly and not touching the artwork.


For more information about the mandala display at the Galveston College Art Gallery, email ajones@gc.edu.



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.