2021:(Current Year)



  • A Light in the Dark:  Luminaria and Lantern Traditions of the Southwest Border Regions and Beyond– click here for details 




  • Thematic Focus:  One Million Stars to End Violence: Lotus International Star-Weaving Project (year-long)
  • Exhibit:  “Around the Body, Around the World,” Waldron Arts Center
  • Lotus Backdrop: Redisplay of “Piece/Full Impression” (2001) by Gail Hale, Susan Sammis, and Alec Slinde, the first-ever commissioned Lotus backdrop; featured in 2016 with updates from “One Million Stars”
  • Arts Village
    • (Visual Arts Outreach Project) One Million Stars to End Violence, with visit by founding Australian artist Maryann Talia Pau
    • Planetary Spheres sculpture, created by Ivy Tech  3D Sculpture Class students
    • IU / Lotus inflatables
    • Chalk art


  • Exhibit: “Seeing Red: World Textiles,” Waldron Arts Center
  • Arts Village
    • (Visual Arts Outreach Project) Pahyias Festa Houses: Celebrating the Harvest in the Philippines
    • IU / Lotus inflatables
    • Lotus flower nail art
    • Star weaving
  • Venue sculpture: “Caravan” (IU School of Fine Arts Students, Textiles/Natural dyes workshops)


  • Exhibit: “Color + Movement: The Making of Lotus Visual Art”, Waldron Arts Center
  • “Carving the Power of Pattern” – window display of carved blocks, Darn Good Soup
  • Arts Village
    • Masks Around the World
    • IU / Lotus inflatables (IU School of Fine Arts Students, Textiles)
    • Chalk art, including demo of Indian Kolam chalk art by Radha Lakshmi
    • Lotus word art
    • Lotus artists on the map
    • The Lotus Brain (Jill Bolte-Taylor, Merridee LaMantia)
    • Chinese story theater
  • Venue sculpture: “Ode to Lotus” (3D sculpture students of Amy Brier, Ivy Tech)


  • Lotus Backdrop #5: Power of Pattern
    • 7 black canvas panels prepared with acryclic gesso
    • Designs solicited from community members, hand-carved and block-printed
  • Power of Pattern small banners (downtown stores, Arts Village)
  • Exhibit: “World Blues: Shades of Indigo,” Waldron gallery
  • Arts Village
    • Art-making project stations
    • Audio-visual Lotus retrospective
    • Chalk art
    • Bicycle dome sculpture
    • New Arts Village flags (with Discardia)
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on arts and crafts)


  • Exhibit: “Woven and Constructed: Traditional African Textiles and Baskets,” Waldron gallery
  • Lotus Arts Village
    • Community Labyrinth panels – inspired by African textile designs
      Festival Featured Exhibit: Woven and Constructed: Traditional African Textiles and Baskets
    • Community Labyrinth
    • Lotus Brain (Jill Bolte-Taylor, Merridee LaMantia)
    • Hear/Hear Performance stage
    • Trashion/Refashion exhibit


  • Arts Village
    • Visual Arts Outreach Project: Community Labyrinth panels
    • Tiny Houses
    • Hear/Here spoken performance stage
    • Chalk art
  • Exhibit: “Woven Treasures,” Waldron gallery
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on arts and crafts)


  • Arts Village
    • Nomadic structures
    • Translucent lifelike figures (Amy Brier’s 3-D Ivy Tech class)
    • Chalk art “rugs”
    • Large-scale textile weaving
    • Hear/Here spoken-word stage
  • Exhibits: Lotus Mobiles (created for Edible Lotus), Trashion/Re-fashion costumes, Lotus Retrospective, Lodge/Space 1010
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on arts and crafts)


  • Arts Village
    • Community Pathway (chalk art)
    • IU Arts students textile installation
    • Parade masks (summer outreach)
  • Exhibit:
    • “World of Morton C. Bradley,” geometric sculptures (collaboration with IU Art Museum), Space 101
    • “community,” photos by William L. Snyder celebrating diversity of experiences of Asian Pacific Americans living in the Midwest, Monroe County Public Library
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on activities)
  • Outreach workshops, summer: At the Mathers, Lotus Family Craft Days, mask-making


  • Exhibit: Aboriginal Art Exhibit, works by Yidumduma Bill Harney, elder and last Senior Male Aboriginal custodian of the Wardaman people of Australia
  • Lotus Arts Village
    • Lotus Labyrinth
    • Inflatable sculptures
    • Lotus art bikes


  • Lotus silks (for sale in Festival store), hand dyed and screen printed by LuAnne Holladay and Deborah Klein
  • Lotus Art Bike Project – Donated by community members and “rehabilitated” by volunteers, project design and coordination by Joe LaMantia
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on arts activities)
  • Lotus Arts Village
    • Community Mandala
    • Arts Village Canopy (by Jackson Creek Middle School students – fabric panels with designs based on cultural traditions from around the world)


  • First “official” Festival Arts Village
    • Mongolian gers (yurts), housing Community Mandala, Roliquery (by Amy Brier), Peace Flags (Merridee LaMantia), Mandala paintings by Amy Roach
  • At Fountain Square Mall: Tibetan sand mandalas and art exhibits, from the Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center
  • Lotus in the Park: Art Camp (hands-on arts activities)
  • Tibetan butter sculptures from TMBCC (storefront displays around the square)
  • Kinetic sculptures – 3D hanging sculptures for large performance tent, by Gail Hale


  • Faces of Diversity – 25+ sculptural parade “masks” by Joe LaMantia; standards to be carried by parade goers, made from recycled materials with help from community members
  • Festival banners and flags by Keith Romaine and Susan Sammis
  • “Bringing the World to Our Neighborhood,” multimedia exhibit to accompany release of the book by the same name [not sure of site]
  • 1,000 Cranes – installation at Buskirk-Chumley Theater by Daniel Comiskey
  • “Arts Space” [Festival Arts Village] with altar tents and small installations


  • Lotus Backdrop #4
    • Designed by textile artist Soonran Youn
  • Exhibit: “Images of Lotus,” “Festival Retrospective,” Found Object installation, Waldron gallery
  • Parade dragon puppet, Gail Hale
  • Festival flags by Keith Romaine
  • Art space on the street [first actual “arts village”?], “At the Edge of the Heart” – Five 10×10 tents with altar themes, with prayer flags by Susan Sammis and dimensional art by Merridee LaMantia


NOTE: The large mesh banners for the tent stages date from 2003. Designed by Brian Garvey (funded by a grant)

The handmade metal venue kiosks were also funded by this grant. Designed (with staff input) and fabricated by Nick McGi

  • Lotus Backdrop #3
    • Designed by Joan Hershey and Daria Smith
    • “An extravaganza of color and pattern”
    • 55 yards of theater muslin, hand-dyed, cut and pieced in both traditional and contemporary patterns; 5 panels
    • “A cacophy of colors, a mix of texture and pattern; we saw that as a reflection of what happens at Lotus”
  • On Kirkwood and other streets, Festival weekend: Venue sculptures (14 feet tall, 5 feet high), designed by Joe LaMantia and decorated by community members; constructed with recycled materials
  • On Kirkwood, Festival weekend: Lotus Gateway (metal, 14’ x 13’), designed by Nick McGill, Merridee LaMantia, Susan Sammis. Recycled metal; a parade starting point
  • Banner exhibit in Fountain Square: MCCSC student art inspired by Lotus
  • Exhibit: “Lotus Under Glass,” Lotus photographs by Levi Thomas
  • At Bloomingfoods: “Lotus Turns 10,” Retrospective of posters, photographs, t-shirts
  • Exhibit: [unknown gallery], Bloomington music posters from the 1970s, hand silk-screened, various artists 


  • Lotus Backdrop #2
    • By Amie Campbell and Lynne Gilliatt, made with recycled materials, with the help of “dozens of volunteers”
  • Exhibit: At the Convention Center (near Festival stage), “Images of Lotus,” retrospective photographic exhibit of images taken at prior Festivals by Lotus volunteer photographers. With Lotus video from CATS.
  • Exhibit: “La Carina Latina de Bloomington” – the Latino experience and identity in Bloomington, through pictures and stories. Photos by Tyagan Miller; interview with local Latino immigrants coordinated by Lillian Casillas; Waldron galleries
  • Lotus Banner Project – More orange-and-white banners, made with help from the Bloomington Quilters Guild and other artists and volunteers
  • On Kirkwood, Festival weekend: Lotus Shrine, designed by Barb Stutz and Nick McGill


NOTE: This year marked a conscious shift out of galleries and into streets, because attendees weren’t visiting galleries during the Festival.

  • Lotus Backdrop #1
    • “Piece/Full Impression,” by Gail Gayer Hale, Susan Sammis, Alec Slinde
    • Inspired by the traditional pieced quilt, shared by many cultures
    • 22 x 36 feet
    • More than 2 months to create
    • Silk and cotton fabrics, dyed and sewn by hand
    • “Dedicated to peace on earth”
  • Exhibit: “Art from Orange County: Lotus Dickey’s Home” – Telling the story of Lotus Dickey in paintings, baskets, woodburned gourds, wood carvings, crib quilt, video “Water from Another Time”
  • Lotus Banner Project
    • 12-foot orange-and-white flags, constructed by 8 volunteers in over 60 hours, to be used along Kirkwood on Friday and Saturday and in Dunn Meadow on Saturday
  • Outside 2nd Story, on 4th Street
    • “Lotus Flower Reflective,” 400 crushed aluminum cans from Monroe County Waste; designed by Liz Izzo and constructed with help from participants at the Endwright Center in Ellettsville


  • Exhibits at the Waldron galleries:
    • Sweater Exhibition
    • Ceramics by Cheri Platter
    • Paintings and mixed media by Tim Close
    • Paintings with a Brazilian Flair, by Wayne Manns
    • Paintings from China, by Zhi-Zhong Ma
    • Drawings from Japan, by Rikuo Ueda
  • At the Bellevue Gallery: “In Performance,” works by the Bloomington Photography Club
  • NOTE – First use of a backdrop at the Festival: Chico Cesar’s backdrop. This was the inspiration for the first of the Lotus-commissioned backdrops


Thematic focus: Object of Sound

  • Exhibit: “Objects of Sound,” handmade instruments; Waldron gallery


Thematic focus: Objects of Ritual

  • Exhibits, at the Waldron galleries:
    • “Objects of Ritual”: Original art inspired by various sacred traditions
    • “Mexican Images,” photos by Pat Glushko
    • Lotus Labyrinth: Installation on the McCalla School grounds by the “Lotus Labyrinth Group” (this included Susan Sammis and Gail Hale)


Thematic focus: Honoring Ancestors

  • Exhibits at the Waldron galleries:
    • Contemporary Australian Art on loan from the Austral Gallery in St. Louis
    • Black-and-white photographs from Guatemala, Piet van Lier (taken while serving with Peace Bridgades International)
    • Student art on aboriginal themes; works from Green County schools, coordinated by art teacher Charlotte Paul
    • Altar installation by Keith Romaine
  • Exhibit at the Uptown Café: “In the Spirit of the Dead


Thematic focus: Honoring Ancestors

  • Exhibits at Waldron galleries:
    • African Ancestors shrine by Philip Neimark (a priest of Yoruba ancestry) and Vassa. Egungun (ancestor) workshop in Yoruba culture
    • “The Altar of Eyes of Ancestors Watching,” installation by Amber Faith and Susan Sammis
    • Chilean textiles (arpilleras) from the Chicago Peace Museum; burlap patchwork, creations by anonymous Chilean women incorporating message related to exile, protest, refuge, struggle, hope, from wives and mothers protesting the Disappeared.
    • Photographs of Cuba, by Kay Westhues
    • Art by rural Mexican children


  • Exhibit: Lotus Dickey, curated by Nan McEntire; Mathers Museum
  • Exhibits at the Waldron galleries:
    • Art focusing on Latin America, at the Waldron galleries; on loan from Aldo Castillo Gallery, Chicago. Wroks by Luis Fernando Uribe (Colombia), Rodolfo Abularach (Guatemala), Conceicão Pilo (Brazil), Antonio Bou (Puerto Rico)
    • Day of the Dead Altars (by Susan Sammis et al.)
    • Contemporary artifacts from a group of Mayans living in the Mexican rainforest (contemporary Lacandon fireworks; barkcloth, photos of Lacandon Mayasn in Chiapas); collected by Ursina Hastings-Heinz
  • Exhibit at the Monroe County Courthouse: Drawings by children from Mexico + Drawings and paintings by MCCSC students