Thangka Painting and
Understanding Buddhist Iconography 

We are delighted to have truly amazing and unique offerings of the Science of Creativity and the Arts (SoCA) department at the Summer Institute 2018!

In Drawing the Awakened Heart: The Karma Gadri Art and Practice of Thangka Painting, famous master thangka painter RD Salga offers hands-on studio classes which focus on drawing and painting the head and body of male and female Buddhas using the guides and techniques of the Karma Gadri tradition, the painting tradition of the Karmapas noted for its elegance of form, colour, and composition. You will learn how to draw and paint thangkas from scratch. This is an unparalleled opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from one of the few masters of this tradition left in the world today.

It was an honour to meet an authentic holder of the precious Karma Gadri lineage of painting. R.D. Salga presented a beautiful exhibit of thangkas and generously explained the whole process of creation. Lovely!
– Ani Chöyang, 2017 Nitartha Summer Institute Student & Tibetan translator

The renowned thangka painter RD Salga has studied this art RD Salga with studentssince he was eight years old. He has more than thirty four years’ experience in composing and painting Tibetan thangkas of every major Tibetan Buddhist subject and tradition.

Has completed commissioned thangkas for His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa Rikpe Dorje; His Holiness Sakya Trizin Rinpoche; His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; His Eminence Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and many others.

The Symbolizing the Awakened Heart: Buddhist Visual Literacy class, taught by Stephanie Johnston, gives a foundation in the science of creativity and the arts – the first of the five main Buddhist sciences – and teaches the importance of understanding the processes of perception and conception according to the Buddhist science of mind, demonstrates symbolism as an integral part of our everyday experience, and connects all of that with the Buddhist path. In different courses on view and theory in various Buddhist artistic contexts, you learn to understand Buddhist iconography and practice connecting Buddhist arts of body, speech, and mind to your path through the science of creativity and the arts.