Visit Nature’s Kaleidoscope & get inspired to make your own mandalas

mandala by Caroline North
This is one of the mandalas made by artist Caroline North of Collins that you can see during Nature’s Kaleidoscope at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“Mandalas go with gardening,” said artist Caroline North of Collins. “They’re centering and meditative–and that’s what plants do for us.”

See her mandalas on display in the Nature’s Kaleidoscope exhibit through Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

This event is proudly sponsored by See a short video of the exhibit here.

The exhibit is included with Botanical Gardens admission.

Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (ages 62 and older), $9 for students (ages 13 and older with ID), $6 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for Botanical Gardens members and children 2 and younger.

A mandala is a circle that represents wholeness, the divine, our relation to the infinite, the world within our body & mind and the world outside, North said. The bright colors and intricate shapes that repeat in a circle are a subtle reminder of the interconnectedness of all aspects of life.

woman seen through mandala at Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
Shelbi Segrave of New Orleans is framed in a mandala of pine cones made by staff at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. She was enjoying a game of checkers with Sebastian Cichon of the Allentown area of Buffalo. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

North said she began making mandalas because she has an obsession with circular things and spirals.

“I started playing with paper– all different colors of paper,” North said. “It’s like coloring, but more intricate.”

Many of the papers she uses are handmade. Some are from mulberry or banana leaves.

Her works at the Botanical Gardens are for sale. Go to their gift shop for details. You can see more of North’s work here.

Even if you’re not an artist, you can make a crafty mandala to display in your home or garden. The staff at the Botanical Gardens made some using old windows. They glued petals, leaves, feathers, pine cones and stones to the glass.

  • Here are a couple of tips:
  • If you are going to use glass outside, keep birds in mind. Make sure your material is placed no more than 2-4 inches apart. Birds will try to fly through larger gaps, and that could result in a deadly collision.
  • If you want to display your creation outside, make sure you use an adhesive labeled for outdoors. (Many crafters are familiar with Mod Podge, and there is one for outdoors.)
  • You may want to cover petals, leaves and other material with another coat of your adhesive to help protect the items.

    mandala of dried flowers at Buffalo Botanical Gardens
    Dried flowers look lovely on this mandela made by a staff member at the Botanical Gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

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