Printmaking students at Carver High School expressed themselves in the form of prayer flags. In ancient times, people used the flags to offer prayers to various deities. Today, the “prayers” carry universal themes. They promote peace, strength, compassion, and wisdom to all people.
Art teacher Laura Luna’s students studied the tradition of prayer flags. They are strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas because. It is believed to bring good luck and good fortune each time these flags are swayed by the wind.
“Through art we can explore different cultures, cultural identities and diversity,” said Luna.
Different colors and symbols on the rectangular flags carry different meanings. Each color signifies the basic elements that form physical bodies and the environment. For instance blue represents the sky; white stands for air; red is fire; greens stands for water or nature; yellow symbolizes the Earth.
Communities put up the flags on the third day of the Tibetan New Year. They are also seen during momentous occasions like marriages and other important functions.
The flags also embody the cycle of life. People put up new flags beside the old faded ones; it teaches everyone to embrace life’s changes.
Once the magnet school students grasped an understanding of the tradition, they took it from there. They came up with their own stencil design, chose colors and even sewed their own flags.
“Our flags show the art strand at the campus,” said student Bailey Henderson. “They also show how each of us is different and is an individual. Yet there is a clear sense of unity.”
“Flags can symbolize what you stand for,” said student Anthony Cobb. “They give people a voice. It is a way to say ‘I am here.'”
Passersby could view the colorful flags waving in the breeze in the crosswalk area of the campus.
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