The Tsering Art School is part of the Dilgo Khyentse Fellowship which is a non-profit organisation with projects for cultural preservation and humanitarian aid in Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan.
The primary concern of the Shechen Institute of Traditional Tibetan Art, ‘Tsering Art School’ is the thangka painting school. It was established by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche in 1996 in response to the urgent need for young artists to be able to receive a complete and thorough training in a pure and authentic lineage of thangka painting (thangkas are Tibetan Buddhist pictorial scrolls, either painted or made of fabric).
Previously in Tibet the main form of painting was Buddhist sacred art. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution the ancient traditional arts in Tibet suffered irreparable damage when over 6,000 monasteries and the art works they contained were destroyed. In addition to this tragic loss, the degeneration of the authentic Buddhist painting traditions from the whole Himalayan region still continues today, largely because of the commercialisation of thangka production for a tourist market. This means that people without proper training are producing poorly executed thangkas with incorrect iconography. The overall result is that the sacred meaning and purpose of this precious art form is in danger of being lost.
The lineage of thangka painting the students are trained in is called ‘Karma Gadri’, which originated in Eastern Tibet and is famous its spacious landscapes and transparent treatment of colour.
The goal of the school is thus to provide the opportunity for young men and women from the Himalayan region and abroad to acquire the knowledge and skill to keep alive this sacred tradition from within its proper context of genuine Buddhist practice.
The school relies on sponsorship for the school fees of the poorer students, in particular the young Tibetan refugees and students from poor Nepalese, Indian and Bhutanese families.
The sponsorship program has enabled many students from impoverished backgrounds to complete the course and helps give them a future in being able to earn a living from fulfilling commissions for devotees. The training also gives them a firm ethical basis in the Buddhist teachings. A sponsor will be given one thangka from the student they sponsor over the six year course.
Additional monies provided by a sponsor can be used as pocket money for the student to purchase necessary items such as art materials, clothes, toiletries and medicine.
A separate fund is established for one-off donations that are put towards medical supplies and school fees for the poorer students that haven’t been covered by sponsorship to date.
THE BASIC SCHOOL FEES IN NEPALI RUPEES ARE:
Boarding students: 45,500 Nrs per year (at an average rate of 76 Rs to the dollar in 2011 is about USD $600 per annum)
Day students: 13,000 per year (c $175 USD per annum)
Please refer to websites such as the XE.com link provided here for current exchange rates http://www.xe.com/ucc/full/
Contact the school administrator Miss Lobsang Dolma on the Tsering Art School email and she will provide you with profiles of the day and boarding students needing sponsorship and provide bank account details for money transfers.
Make a donation towards our sponsorship fund by PayPal through the Tsering Art School page on the Shechen website.
NB/ Please advise what the payment is for with as much detail as possible when making it, i.e. ‘Tsering Art School sponsorship fund’ or ‘Donation to Tsering Art School’
For further information on study, commissioning artworks and purchasing other products from the school that help support the activities of Shechen Monastery, please browse the website by selecting the links on this page.