WICHITA, KANSAS, September 23, 2013 (The Sunflower): To the people of India, drawing pictures with colorful sand is an exciting folk art symbolizing the welcoming of family, friends and Hindu Deities, or Gods. Through a traditional form of Indian art called Rangoli, Hindu families take part in an ancient and sacred ritual.
With "Flavors and Colors," the Association of Hindu Students of America, AHINSA, was able to give the people of Wichita a unique opportunity to experience the art, culture and food of India. "It's out-of-the-box, something that people here probably haven't had the chance to experience," said Vivek Abhilash, the director of publicity for AHINSA. "We chose the Ulrich museum, because it was a perfect fit and they were happy to have us."
The theme for the Rangoli drawings was the Ulrich exhibition Nature's Toolbox, which is also the current theme for the museum's second floor gallery. "You could be innovative, or you can just do the traditional geometric designs and flowers," AHINSA president Madhulika Srikanth said.
Those who created art weren't solely of Indian descent. A group of 7-year-old Girl Scouts were "just trying to figure," troop leader Brenda Lichman said. "We're here to get our painting badge," Lichman said. "This is a different way of painting with different materials."
The art of Rangoli has evolved over the years into a competition, while still rooted in celebration. This year, the top two drawings were recognized and awarded with gift cards to Taco Bell and Applebee's, along with Ulrich Museum t-shirts.