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Watchung Arts Center opens season with Tibetan artist's traditional paintings

September 7, 2010

www.NJ.com
September 5, 2010,

WATCHUNG -- The Watchung Arts Center’s galleries
opens the season with exhibits by Tibetan artist
Samten Dapka and New Jersey artist Connie Legakis Robinson.

The exhibits open Wednesday, Sept. 8, and run
through Saturday, Sept. 25. The public is invited
to an opening reception, 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday,
Sept.12. The reception features lively discussion
with the artists over light fare and is free of
charge and open to the public. There will be an
closing program Tibetan Finissage, on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.

Gallery hours are noon to 3 p.m., Wednesdays to
Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays; 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturdays; and Tuesdays by appointment. The
Watchung Arts Center is at 18 Stirling Road,
Watchung. Visit watchungarts.org; call
908-753-0190 or email wacenter@optonline.net.

The featured exhibit in the Art Center’s upper
gallery is called New Dreams, Tibetan Art Show by
Samten Dapka. Tibetan art is closely integrated
with Tibetan Buddhism. Thankga paintings, such as
Dakpa’s “Green Tara,” use a Buddha or bodhisattva
as a central image, and are shown against
detailed and defined backgrounds. The intensity
and variety of colors are often striking and
rarely found outside Himalayan art.

Says the artist, "My work draws its inspiration
from Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and psychology
but it has a contemporary inflection."

Dakpa moves beyond the formal Tibetan traditions
and applies his sharp vision and color skills to
create fluid modern Tibetan paintings and color
drawings for children’s books. Some these works
will be shown at the Watchung exhibit.

Samten Dakpa was born into a large family in the
nomadic region of Eastern Tibet called Khampa.
With no money for formal schooling, he herded
goats as a young boy, also sheep and yak for the
extended family, all day in the high, isolated
Himalayan mountains. He began teaching himself to
draw in the snow, dirt, mud or anywhere he could
leave a trace. Monks recognized his craftsmanship
and so his artistic journey began, taking him to
India and then the U.S. where he now lives.

Dakpa has exhibited all over the world and his
creative efforts extend to sculpture, interior design and architecture.

Learn about Tibetan art and this artist’s journey
at the opening reception on Sunday, Sept. 12,
from 1 to 4 p.m.; a presentation and discussion will be held at 3 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., the closing
festivities or Tibetan Finissage will include
Tibetan music and dance and the artist will
participate. Tickets for this event are $15.
The Watchung Art Center’s lower gallery features
the drawings of New Jersey resident, Connie Legakis Robinson.

The show, called Reflections, is a solo exhibit.
The gallery is juried. Robinson has exhibited at
the L.B.I. Foundation of Arts and Sciences,
HUB-Robeson Galleries at Penn State University,
and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey of Summit.

Her drawings make use of reflected light. She
makes her focus the natural microcosm and the
macrocosm. Visit her website at www.legarts.net
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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