Quilted Mandalas

The Pebble Hill Church Gallery at 320 Edison Furlong Road,  Doylestown, Pa.,  is hosting a solo exhibit of Hindu Deities and Nature by Om Shantih.  The exhibit will run through March 28.

Says Om Shantih:
“I dedicate this art to my spiritual Mother and teacher, Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi).  Through Amma I have learned to express Divine Love in art in the forms of Hindu and Buddhist deities, and nature. I am mostly drawn to painting the Hindu ‘pantheon’ of Gods as they represent the many faces and aspects of one God. Descriptions with each piece also show how they relate in everyday life to everyday people, as the deities have a life and magic of their own being rooted in the ancient practices of yoga, meditation, and bhakti (devotion).”

Ms. Shantih’s love and practice of the ancient Sanskrit language has compelled her to tie in sacred verses with the paintings from various revered texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Shri Lalita Sahasranama, Hanuman Chalisa and others.

Om Shantih (Kimberly Cheifer) has shown and sold her art in galleries, yoga, meditation, and spiritual centers since 1981. She was part of Wade Fabric Art Gallery, Sugar Loaf, New York, and directed the Om Shantih Gallery in Monroe, and at the Yoga Society of New York where she also taught yoga classes. In 1987 Ms. Shantih received a grant from the NY State Council of the Arts to teach quilted painting workshops to children and adults. From 2000 to 2006, she worked at Films for the Humanities & Sciences as a full time graphic designer.

Ms. Cheifer graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design, Florida in 1981. She started out making her quilted paintings that were later collected all over the country as well as abroad. Paintings were commissioned for restaurants, banks, hotels, condominiums, and private residences.

In 1984, Ms. Shantih chose the path of meditation and yoga, and in 1993 her spiritual teacher, Guruji, (Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati) ignited her love of Hindu deities. He told her to paint the “Rasa Lila” (Dance of Enlightenment) really large, and that it would go around the world. Upon completion of the preliminary painting, Ms. Shantih had a serendipitous meeting with the head of the UN Archives and was quickly invited to show her art in Geneva in a special commemorative exhibit. After a year of work, the final “Rasa Lila” wall hanging traveled for three years in Europe with this UN exhibit honoring women who worked for world peace. Only a few quilted paintings remain since Om Shantih has transitioned away from painting on fabric, and has gone back to traditional painting.

In 2006, Ms. Shantih left the corporate world to go back to college full time to finish her degree in art education in 2009 at the College of New Jersey. Her main interest is to teach art at the elementary school level, inspiring and guiding children in finding their self-esteem and higher intelligence through the creative process.

Today, Ms. Shantih works alongside her husband Dave Lewis, a professional musician, who manages distribution and sales of her prints and cards across the country. Many original pieces are still for sale.  They also provide support to their spiritual teacher’s many projects.  A percentage of the profits from these sales are donated to Amma’s charitable trusts that feed, house, and give emergency aid to the poor in this country, India and elsewhere. For more information see http://www.amma.org.

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