The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.
In terms of art, mandalas are excellent examples of radial balance, often using symmetry in the creation of pattern which is an introductory way to explore design. My students really outdid themselves in the design aspect of the mandalas. Using a choice of complementary color pairs, students created outstanding mandalas this term. Just see for yourself!