Art Installation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Aspen, CO on July 26, 2008

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A special celebratory large-scale art installation will be presented by Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen Institute, other local arts organizations, and children of the Roaring Fork Valley for the Official Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Aspen, CO, on July 26, 2008.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Aspen: A Celebration of Tibetan Culture.

A special celebratory large-scale art installation will be presented by Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen Institute, other local arts organizations, and children of the Roaring Fork Valley for the Official Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Aspen, CO, on July 26, 2008.

The art installation began as a conversation between Kitty Boone, Director of Public Programs and Vice President of the Aspen Institute, and Hunter O'Hanian, President of Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Ms. Boone commented that His Holiness the Dalai Lama enjoys being surrounded by children's artwork, and O'Hanian quickly recognized it as an opportunity for a community arts collaboration and outreach with the Institute and local arts organizations.

A month later, under the guidance of Anderson Ranch Arts Center Children's Program and Outreach Coordinator Sarabeth Berk, the installation--which will be featured in the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, CO, during a July 26 talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on values based leadership and universal responsibility--became a reality. The talk is part the Aspen Institute's 2008 symposium, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Aspen: A Celebration of Tibetan Culture." The installation for the talk was designed by nationally renowned artists Mike and Doug Starn and will be created by children from the Roaring Fork Valley.

"This project has been a tremendous opportunity," Berk says, "not only because it honors a world leader, but it connects artistic energy in the Roaring Fork Valley, both children and adults alike, and demonstrates the power of collaboration among different groups of people. This installation also provides an opportunity to educate our community and children about Tibet and talk about the concepts that are important to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, including peace, compassion, universal responsibility, and interconnectedness. It's been an incredible process to act on behalf of Anderson Ranch to pull it together on behalf of the official visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Aspen on July 26."

Anderson Ranch Arts Center recruited the help of three other local arts organizations--the Wyly Community Art Center, Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities, and the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts--as well as forty-eight Roaring Fork Valley children ages 6-12 to create the individual artistic elements comprising the installation. The children will be encouraged to explore and express their prayers and wishes for peace, love, and understanding while experiencing the spirit of collaboration.

The installation, specifically created for Aspen Music Festival's Benedict Music Tent stage, has been designed to convey interconnectedness and the artistic elements are meant to be experienced as a whole. It includes a 6 foot by 45 foot digital mural placed behind His Holiness and a cloud of 1,200 handmade prayer flags floating above him, mimicking the tradition of spreading prayers, hope and good wishes by wind throughout the world. Additionally, snowflakes will be included in the mural to represent themes of ephemeral beauty, uniqueness, and the power of coalescence.

Where: Benedict Music Tent, Aspen, Colorado

When: Morning of Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tickets, Live Telecasts, and Web casts:
While the Benedict Music Tent and the large screen simulcasts in the Paepcke Auditorium and Doerr-Hosier building are sold out, there will also be a live web cast of the event streaming from: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/ the day of the event, with images and multimedia available both from the Aspen Institute website and Anderson Ranch website afterward.

Conceptual Designers:
The artists Mike and Doug Starn serve as the installations' conceptual designers. They are identical twins who work collaboratively in the territory between photography, sculpture and painting, and occupy a unique position within contemporary art practices of photography. The Starns engagement with Buddhist principles takes many forms, both concrete and abstract. The Starns' will be in Aspen from the 17th to the 27th of July to attend other Aspen Institute programming and help install the artwork. See http://www.starnstudio for a full bio and other projects completed by the Starns.

The Starns' involvement in the symposium is made possible by a gift from the Stanton Foundation, which as part of the Institute's Harman Eisner Program in the Arts, is helping to bring visual artists into the activities of the Aspen Institute.

Installation Installers and Organizers:
The installation, reflecting the temporal and transitory nature of existence, will be installed in two hours the evening of July 25th, and taken down immediately following the event on the 26th.

Aspen Institute, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Wyly Community Arts Center, Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities, and Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts all played a key role in conducting children's workshops to create the installation and providing the logistical support for the children to attend and participate in the symposium.

Exhibition Sponsors:
The symposium, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Aspen: A Celebration of Tibetan Culture" has been organized in compliance with the guidelines of the Office of Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama does not accept honoraria and symposium proceeds will be used solely to defray event costs.

Media Contacts:
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Doug Ellis, Director of Marketing/Communications 970.923.3181 x216 dellis @ andersonranch.org

Aspen Institute
Jennifer Myers, Deputy Director of Communications & Public Affairs, (202) 736-2906 or jennifer.myers @ aspeninstitute.org

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