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In Montgomery: Art for Tibet

This article by Nicole Plett was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July

8, 1998. All rights reserved.

When Yvonne DeCarolis volunteered to work for the

new organization, World Artists for Tibet, coordinating this summer’s

artists’ events across New Jersey, she had no idea she would become

the curator of a major exhibition. Nor could she have imagined that

her exhibition, which opened Friday, July 3, and will have its gala

fundraiser on Sunday, July 12, from 1 to 5 p.m., would open amidst

sweeping changes in Chinese, American, and Tibetan relations.

Although it has been almost 50 years since the army of the People’s

Republic of China invaded Tibet and crushed its small army, the plight

of Tibet’s 6 million citizens has never figured so prominently on

the international arena. Over the past year, two big Hollywood movies

have spotlighted the remote mountain nation, and the future of Tibet

has been a key component of President Clinton’s recent summit meetings

with President Jiang Zemin of China.

Clinton’s personal observations about Tibet, broadcast live on Chinese

television, have further humanized this long political impasse. By

calling for dialogue with the Dalai Lama, and telling Jiang of his

confidence that the two would like each other if they met, Clinton

may augur a new Chinese policy on Tibet. In a July 1 editorial in

the Wall Street Journal, "Freeing Tibet Is in China’s

Interest,"

Columbia University professor Robert Thurman outlines the economic

and political benefits of an autonomous Tibet: "The conquest of

Tibet was the work of men of a previous era; Mr. Jiang can offer a

new vision. . . turning the seemingly endless tragedy of Tibet into

a source of relief, pride, joy, and unity for the people of Tibet

and China." This editorial was followed on July 2 by a New York

Times editorial promoting the joint effort for dialogue and

negotiation

by President Clinton and the Dalai Lama.

The art exhibition, World Artists for Tibet, at the Montgomery

Cultural

Center 1860 House, is a two-month show and sale to benefit the Tibet

Fund, the largest organization dedicated to preserving Tibetan

culture.

It also benefits the Siddhartha School Project in Ladakh, India, which

provides educational and cultural resources for exiled Tibetan

children.

The show is part of an international summertime awareness campaign

supported by 3,000 artists in 45 countries joining with actor Richard

Gere, author and human rights activist Elie Wiesel, Chinese activist

Harry Wu, and Senator Diane Feinstein.

At the Montgomery Center fundraiser on Sunday, July 12, Tenzin Dhodak

of Tibet’s Nechung Foundation will demonstrate traditional sacred

sand mandala painting, one of the most demanding and evanescent art

traditions in the world. The reception also features world percussion

music by Chuck Carpenter and Michael Mironov of Dancing Water, and

a performance of Tibetan folk tales.

The show’s 25 exhibiting artists also donate a portion of their sales

to the Tibet charities. They include painters Sabrina Gaydos, Jacob

Landau, Chuma Okoli, Maria Owens, and Seow-Chu See; and sculptors

Gyuri Hollosy, Chuck Bonstee, Ray McAdam, and Colleen O’Donnell. Also

featured are printmaker Idaherma Williams, photographer Frank Cody,

poet and sculptor Peter Chinni, book binder Chris Russo, and

performing

artist John Brzostoski. The show will remain to August 29.

DeCarolis, a clinical social worker, community organizer, and an

artist

who lives in Plainsboro, has been involved in Tibetan religion and

political issues for 17 years. "For people experiencing repression

all over the world, we as artists need to do something strong,"

she says. "This means putting our money and our voices where it

counts. My strongest goal and vision is that the shows and the concert

will bring in significant proceeds that I can send back to Tibet for

the care and education of refugee children."

Other area events for World Artists for Tibet include an outdoor

concert

by Dancing Water will be held Saturday, August 15, at the 1860 House

($8 donation). Also joining the effort is the TAWA Summer Gallery

Series at the Ellarslie Museum; Gyuri Hollosy and Mike and Michael

Gyampo of the Johnson Atelier; and the Coalition for Peace Action’s

Hiroshima Anniversary observance that will include a Tibetan speaking

about Chinese nuclear dumping in Tibet.

— Nicole Plett

World Artists for Tibet, Montgomery Cultural

Center ,

1860 House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. Opening for exhibit

to benefit the Tibet Fund and Siddhartha School Project. Sale

continues

to August 29. $15 donation. Sunday, July 12, 1 to 5 p.m.

World Artists for Tibet website: www.art4tibet98.org. The

website

of the Government of Tibet in Exile, at www.tibet.com is also

a source of information and news.


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