Arts and Entertainment

Mandalas by graduate student Fernanda Bonafini to be displayed in Old Main

A mandala by Penn State doctoral student Fernanda Bonafini. Credit: Fernanda BonafiniAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of the Art on the Move program, the HUB-Robeson Galleries will display mandalas by Penn State graduate student Fernanda Bonafini, also known as Ataraxiaowl, in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, 209 Old Main, from May 12 to Sept. 17.

Bonafini first began drawing mandalas as a way to relieve stress and balance emotions. Her first mandalas were drawn on black paper with gel pens, and she later migrated to using black ink pens on white paper. More recently, she has begun working with heat transfer to add various colors of reflective foil to her original black ink mandalas. 

The term mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit, however mandalas are much more than just circles to her; they also represent wholeness and inner peace. Even Ataraxiaowl, her chosen artistic name, synthesizes the message she wants to convey in her drawings, as "Ataraxia" means “a lucid state of robust tranquility and ongoing freedom from distress and worry,” while "owl" represents wisdom and the ability to navigate any darkness in life. 

Bonafini draws inspiration from other contemporary mandala artists, her personal journey toward self-knowledge and self-awareness, and her affinity for geometry and symmetry. She hopes that her work can help others improve concentration, increase creativity, decrease anxiety and stress, and increase physical and emotional balance. 

Bonafini is currently earning her doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education, as well as a concurrent master's degree in applied statistics. 

It is recommended to set up an appointment to view this exhibit by calling the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 814-865-0909. 

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Last Updated May 03, 2017