The 2013 “Canvasas for Cambodia” Finished Mandala Paintings: A Huge Thank you to the Community for your Support!

After 48 hours of brush strokes completed by Naropa faculty, students, friends, donors, and the greater community, the final incarnations of the Mandalas are here to stay.  Through generous support from our community, we have reached $21,988, which will send the 2014 art therapy team to Cambodia.  Through this service-learning project, we will be working with our partner organizations primarily serving women and children who have been sex-trafficked.  This is an opportunity for us to share trauma-informed art therapy practices to an under-served population in Cambodia while learning about this beautiful culture.  A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in turning this dream in to a reality!   We appreciate each and every one of you so much.

Please take a moment to see the final Mandalas created by each team and come to the Paramita Campus at Naropa to see these gorgeous 7’X7′ paintings that are infused with layers of creative expression from all of our painters!

The Helping Hands:


The Sunbeams:


The Creative Crusaders:


Also, any donation is accepted!    Thank you all so very much for your continued support for NCAS-I and those who help make this trip happen each year.  We are grateful.

Paintings via the 2014 Team’s and all involved!

Compiled by Aiya Staller

Photos courtesy of Sue Wallingford.


Unveiling the Mandalas: Fundraising for the Service-Learning Trip to Cambodia. Come be part of the community!

An important piece of the service-learning trip to Cambodia involves fundraising through the annual Painting Marathon.  This year, the marathon, titled “Canvases for Cambodia”, has three teams including: The Creative Crusaders, The Sunbeams, and The Helping Hands.  Three canvases will be painted over the course of 48 hours to create distinct mandalas.  Sponsors support students by donating to each team as they paint.  This project serves to bring awareness to the service-learning trip, to the reality of sex-trafficking in Cambodia, and to build community support and connection.

canvases for cambodia

The Mandala:

Sanskrit for “sacred circle,” the mandala has represented a mystical symbol of the universe used primarily as a Buddhist or Hindu aid to meditation (Dellios, 2003).  An important part of Cambodian culture, the mandala represents, in this context, the coming together of community.  This is symbolized in the painters coming together to support this project, as well as the larger connection to a global community striving for social justice.  Come join us in connecting to the world through art and community.  Check out this years intentions from each team!  Follow the links to learn more about each team and how to be involved with them.

Introducing the Teams and their Intentions:  

The Creative Crusaders: Resilience, Empowerment, and Possibility

liz mandala

“This open-ended format embraces the whole spectrum of artistic ability, so whether you are a master photorealist, an intuitive abstract colorist, someone who relishes getting lost in intricate patterns, or EVEN if your talent with a paintbrush plateaued in preschool, your contribution has a place in the Mandala. In terms of what we will paint, team Creative Crusaders does not have any specific source images in mind, but we hope to draw upon the following themes for inspiration. A crusader is someone who fights for change in the world, and stands as the source for creating that change. Resilience, empowerment, possibility, justice, truth, courage, passion, and vision are just a few of the qualities we hope to evoke and honor in this Mandala. We encourage each artist to reflect upon your own associations of what it means to be a crusader for social justice. What symbols, colors, patterns, and images come to mind? Have a mandala that inspires you? Post it to our facebook page! We are so excited to create with you!”
The Sunbeams: Reminding us of Natural Cycles and Interconnection
“We create our image/mandala in honor of the Sun, a life-giving Mandala that we witness daily rising in the East and setting in the West.  It is a reminder that we are all united on Earth, as human beings, as nature.  It is a reminder that life is a cycle, always renewing, always rebirthing.  It is a symbol of hope and interconnection; the values we bring with us in our commitment to social justice.”
The Helping Hands: “The whole is greater then the sum of its parts”- Aristotle
“Helping Hands wants to represent each one of our painters over the 48hrs by having them create their own personal, individual mandala.  Each mandala created during your time painting will then create the illusion of a larger mandala.  Each small mandala becomes part of the greater image. Your marks help create the greater whole!”
How this relates to you:
If you live in the area, come paint with us!  No matter where you live, consider donating to support the 2014 team in their commitment to Social Justice, Art Therapy, and Learning.  This is one opportunity to be involve in something larger than ourselves while having fun in the process.  Don’t forget to follow the links to learn more about the teams or donate to them!
The General Donation Fund can also be donated to here.  We thank you for the support!
Dellios, R. (2003). Mandala: from sacred origins to sovereign affairs in traditional Southeast Asia. Center for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies.  Bond University.
Mandala Images Courtesy of:
Via the 2014 Team.
Compiled by Aiya Staller