Art + Social Media = Community

Reiko Fujii, guest contributor, shares her experience of participating in an online community art project, New Year Mandalas 2014.

The New Year Mandalas 2014 project was initiated by artist and Creativity Facilitator, Judy Shintani, as a way for artists to be inspired to make and share art with an online community of other interested artists. For the first twelve days of 2014, each artist was invited to create one mandala a day, accompanied by an inspired word or words, and post it online each day. The finished set of twelve mandalas represented our twelve months of 2014.These were meant to be a daily meditation and art making inspiration.

As it turned out, over 350 people {and counting} signed up for the project. Not all of the people who signed onto the project participated, but some were most likely following along and checking out the mandalas. Hundreds of mandalas were posted to a Facebook group. The project reached hundreds of people at one time, and provided a supportive environment where participants could post mandalas, receive and give encouraging feedback, experience what others created, read about artists’ processes, and feel connected to a creative community. Participants made mandalas out of every medium imaginable, with all kinds of personal reasons for doing so. The supportive feedback and encouragement fostered an environment of healing and creativity.
The New Year Mandalas 2014 project gave me the opportunity to work within a structure. The suggested deadline of making one mandala a day for twelve days seemed manageable, and it was an inspiration that would get my creative juices going while also providing me with an opportunity to artfully meditate on whatever was up for me at the time. I looked forward to being part of a community of artists to experience mutual support.

Another advantage to this online project was the impetus it gave me to gather materials and consider my environment as my canvas – to experiment, have fun, process grieving, and exchange techniques and ideas with others. I am using the mandalas I made as a springboard for new ideas for current artwork.

Each day I check out the mandalas that have been posted. It is inspiring and soothing to see the wondrous mandalas that others have created. Even though there are so many, I believe each one deserves to be viewed individually.

There are two venues to view the New Year Mandalas 2014 project. New Year Mandalas 2014 is on Facebook and continues to be open to anyone who wants to join:

July 3 – August 9, 2014
New Year Mandalas 2014 is a part of Mandala: Contemporary Interpretations of the Ancient Art at ART XChange Gallery in Seattle:


Reiko Fujii is a creative artist who enjoys experimenting with a wide range of media, including video, photography, book arts, kiln-formed glass, installation, and performance to express or document the experiences of her family, important people in her life and herself. Ordinary people symbolize universal heroes and everyday activities are perceived as rituals that contribute to the wholeness of peoples’ lives. During her creative process, Reiko is continually learning and transforming as well as connecting and sharing with others.

website:   reiko photo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s