Exploring the art of Bhutan
by Hawkins Teague
May 01, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Phurba Namgay and his wife, Linda Leaming
Phurba Namgay and his wife, Linda Leaming
A thangka painted by Phurba Namgay
A thangka painted by Phurba Namgay
Until July 1, the people of Trigg County can travel to the other side of the planet just by stepping through the doors of the Janice Mason Art Museum in downtown Cadiz.

Last weekend marked the opening of the new exhibit of art from Bhutan, a tiny Asian country sandwiched between India and China. The country is about 200 miles from east to west and 100 miles north to south. The art on display comes from the private collections of Ben and Janeen Cundiff and Nashville couple Bob and Judy Barker.

Attending the opening were Phurba Namgay and his wife, Linda Leaming. Namgay is from Bhutan and paints “thangkas,” which are painted or embroidered Buddhist banners usually seen hung in monasteries or on mantles. Leaming, who said she’s the only American living fulltime in Bhutan, is originally from Nashville and moved to Bhutan after marrying Namgay. She said they plan on staying in the country for about a month and will spending time in Cadiz, as well as visiting her family in Nashville. At some point during their stay, Namgay hopes to spend some time shooting with the Trigg County Arrowcats since archery is the most popular sport in Bhutan and something he enjoys a great deal.

“My guess is that this show might be the most significant in the state right now,” said Bill Lisowsky, husband of museum administrator Paula Lisowsky. Leaming took it a step further, saying it was probably the most impressive show of modern Bhutanese art in existence. She said she had seen shows in Germany and Japan before.

“This one, I think, rivals them both,” she said.

Judy Barker said that before going to Bhutan, an art dealer asked if she knew Leaming. She didn’t, but the dealer made sure that they got in touch. After that, Leaming personally introduced the Barkers to many of the artists whose works are now on display at the museum.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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