Tradition Changing Women, Women Changing Tradition: The Interface of Tibetan Nuns and the Sacred Art of Sand Mandala Making

Melissa R. Kerin '94 to speak on Experience observing Nuns in Nepal
What: Trinity College warmly welcomes the public to a lecture as part of the opening ceremonies surrounding the month-long building of a sand mandala by Tibetan nuns who are on campus as part of a residency.  The lecture is, in part, an eyewitness account by Melissa R. Kerin '94, assistant professor of art history at Washington & Lee University, who first observed the nuns in Nepal in 1993 while a student at Trinity.  For more information, visit:

When: Friday, Sept. 14 ~ 4:30 p.m.

Where: Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater, on the campus of Trinity College
300 Summit Street, Hartford, Conn., 06106.

Kerin’s lecture is an account of the nearly 20 years of the Keydong nuns’ mandala-making journey. Her exploration consider the ways in which religious art practices, such as sand mandala making, can be appropriated and used in contemporary times to reshape religious identities, as well as to recreate communal identities, especially for those in diaspora. Melissa R. Kerin first observed the nuns in Nepal in 1993 while a student at Trinity. She is currently assistant professor of art history at Washington and Lee University.

The Keydong nuns are the first Buddhist female monastics to learn and practice the sacred art of the sand mandala, an ancient tradition once reserved for monks. This marks their third appearance at Trinity, having been the first Buddhist nuns to create a sand mandala in the United States in 1998. They returned to Trinity in February 2005 to build a second mandala.

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit