Art Break Day 2016: Believe

I believe art is awareness.
I believe art is connection.
I believe in celebration.

For the 4th year, Sankalpa hosted a hub site for the international Art Break Day, as one of 40 locations around the world. We expanded our offering over two days to include our art center for a giant collaborative mandala.

Over 300 people joined us on September 2nd & 3rd at Visitor’s Center and the Sankalpa Art Center to sit down, take an art break, and express themselves for free. The scale, depth and layers of artistic interaction and creativity went above and beyond this year, with new explorations and collaborations in every direction.

It was touching to see many schoolchildren for the 4th year, returning with visible confidence and enthusiasm to sit down and create again. Large groups of young Tamil tourists passed shyly through Visitor’s Center, and with encouragement, several sat down to turn their curiosity into art. The theme of believe inspired many unique and interesting responses with such a range of participants from different ages and backgrounds. Whether someone was creating art for the first time in 15 years (as many come to us in this state), or several times in a day, all were welcomed.

At the Sankalpa Art Center, over 50 people joined us to sit equally across all barriers and play with colorful materials, collaborating on a large-scale rainbow mandala. The sight of this interaction brought tears to (not only) my eyes, inspiring and reminding all of the reason we were called to Auroville, to live together in human unity. Often it is the individual ego that blocks our willingness to sit at the same level as the other, to let hierarchy disappear, to take a risk to share materials, to loosen boundaries and cross them occasionally with respect, to play and interact in simple ways. In metaphor, this mandala was a visible map of the Mother’s Dream for Auroville, particularly: "Beauty in all its artistic forms, painting, sculpture, music, literature, would be equally accessible to all; the ability to share in the joy it brings would be limited only by the capacities of each one and not by social or financial position.”

Aerial time lapse still, GoPro camera, thank you to Doris, Vinay & Darshan for arranging this spectacular point of view!
Infinite gratitude to Lauren & Lisa of Art is Moving in CA, USA for sponsoring and initiating this global art revolution; the hand-working and expanding Sankalpa team including Elena (pre-Newcomer from Russia), Subadhra (AV youth), Jayabharati (Edyanchavadi), Manaali (Bangalore), Vinay (AV youth), with help from Marie-Claire (Auroville) and Osheen (Bangalore) and a special embroidered touch by Vanitha (AV youth, Trishine); Nicole, Peter, Marc, Selvam, Narayan and all friends at Dreamer’s Café and Visitor’s Center for ongoing support; incredible photo/video/radio documentation from Vinay & Ashwin (AV youth), Darshan (Chandigarh), Marco Saroldi (AV Arts Service), Fanny (Pondy), Doris & Francis (AV), Vikram Ram & Fred (drone coverage), Fabienne & Srijita (AV – Outreach Media & Security permissions), Dinesh Varma/S Senthilar/SS Kumar (The Hindu), Miriam & Pierre (Auroville Radio). So many others supported in less visible but invaluable ways, thank you to each of you too.

Though I am an art therapist, I believe fundamentally in art being accessible to all. The scale of our programs and effort is expanding to meet the needs of our larger community, starting with community art as outreach at our Art Cart and events, and widening and deepening to art therapy in individual and group sessions in our center, as well as sharing this work internationally. Art has the potential to change lives, and to unify our communities.

I will be speaking about ritual and resilience in a TEDx Women talk in Wilmington, DE, USA in October 2016, highlighting the value and power of these events as part of a community ritual of gathering around art.

Press coverage here and photos/video online soon at links below:
A space for art: The Hindu, Sept 10, 2016
Time for art for art's sake: The Hindu, Aug 31, 2016
I Believe: Auroville Radio, Sept 11, 2016

Love, light, and color,
Krupa for Sankalpa (sub-unit of Thamarai in Auroville)

FB updates (photos, links, daily mandalas):