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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
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
by President Clinton and the Dalai Lama.
The art exhibition, World Artists for Tibet, at the Montgomery
Center 1860 House, is a two-month show and sale to benefit the Tibet
Fund, the largest organization dedicated to preserving Tibetan
It also benefits the Siddhartha School Project in Ladakh, India, which
provides educational and cultural resources for exiled Tibetan
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
artist John Brzostoski. The show will remain to August 29.
DeCarolis, a clinical social worker, community organizer, and an
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
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
1860 House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. Opening for exhibit
to benefit the Tibet Fund and Siddhartha School Project. Sale
to August 29. $15 donation. Sunday, July 12, 1 to 5 p.m.
World Artists for Tibet website: www.art4tibet98.org. The
of the Government of Tibet in Exile, at www.tibet.com is also
a source of information and news.
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