Transformative Arts Studio Opens at Channel Islands Harbor: Sacred Tibetan Applique Provides Background for Laughter and Learning

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The new Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts Studio will open its doors this Saturday, February 22. Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is the only westerner traditionally trained in sacred Tibetan appliqué art and her Channel Islands studio will be the first to show and teach the rare art form in the West.

Sacred and transformative art has a new venue in southern California, at the Channel Islands Harbor. Oxnard is known more for agriculture (and its awkward name) than for art and spirituality. But the ocean and harbor make it a perfect environment for expansive experience.

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo has been quietly stitching silk thangkas (a sacred Tibetan art form) at her home there for years. This Saturday, February 22, she’ll open a studio allowing the public to view this rare textile art and interact with it, along with other transformative arts.

Silk Thangka

This magnificent mosaic of silk will be on display at the Threads of Awakening Open House. Saturday, February 22, 2014. 2810 S. Harbor Blvd, Suite 201, Oxnard, CA.

Tibetan art is all about transformation — transforming ourselves from a habitual and somewhat deluded state into our true, clear, awake selves. At the Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts Studio, not only will Leslie make and show thangkas, but she’ll provide space for a variety of activities with that same purpose.

This Saturday, the studio will be open to the public from 10 to 4. Complete silk appliqué thangkas will be on display alongside work-in-progress.

In March, the studio will host two visiting teachers offering different transformative learning experiences:

On March 1, Ruth Davis of will come down from Morro Bay to lead a half-day Dream Altars Workshop in which participants will create three-dimensional visual reminders of their intentions.

On March 12, Chiyan Wang, well-known Santa Barbara Qigong master will begin a three-week introductory class in Taoist Light Qigong for self healing.

In April, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo herself will lead a 3-day Stitching Buddhas Workshop, introducing students to the distinctive stitchery techniques of Tibetan appliqué. The Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts Studio will be the only place outside of Asia where the ancient art of Tibetan appliqué is taught in person — and in English!

Master thangka painter Kalsang Dawa, will visit from Vancouver in June to teach a 4-day workshop in mandala painting. This very special workshop will introduce traditional thangka painting techniques, such as canvas preparation and the grinding of minerals, while allowing participants to express their own inner wisdom through their art. No prior experience is required. Kalsang Dawa was trained by the renowned Venerable Sangye Yeshe, personal thangka painter to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and head of the thangka painting school at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives until his death in 2009.

Views of Awakening, a (mostly) Buddhist film series will begin in April.

And Leslie will lead Laughter Workouts every Sunday morning in March at 9am. Sundays are a great time to visit the Harbor and browse the abundant Farmers Market next door.

The Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts Studio will celebrate its opening with an Open House on Saturday, February 22, 2014 from 10am to 4pm. The studio is upstairs in Suite 201 of Harbor Landing, just above the Italian Job restaurant at 2810 S. Harbor Blvd., Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA.

Stay informed of studio events with our online calendar.

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