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PCA Folk & traditional Arts

Work Sample A: 5 Samples of Apprenticeship Program to Illustrate Master/Apprentice Pairs


1) Losang Samten, Master Artist and Soo Kyoung Kim, Apprentice -- Tibetan Sand Mandalas

Recipients of 2017-2018 Apprenticeship in Traditional Arts Award

 The Venerable Losang Samten (, a National Heritage Fellow, was the first person to create a Tibetan sand mandala in the U.S., which he did in 1988 at the request of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Since then he has traveled extensively, sharing his knowledge of meditation and Buddhist ritual arts. He resides in Philadelphia, and creates mandalas several times each year at the Philadelphia Folklore Project and the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures (FACTS) Charter School. In 2017-18, he has been awarded an Apprenticeship in Traditional Arts to work with apprentice Soo Kyoung Kim.

Image of master Samten with Mandala of Compassion

Finished 'Wheel of Life Mandala,' created by Losang Samten and Soo Kyoung Kim

2) Patty Dillman, Master Artist and Lorraine Felker, Apprentice -- Willow Basketry

Willow basket-maker, Patty Dillman, from Tioga County (in the northern central region of Pennsylvania) apprenticed in the late 1980s to New York basket-maker Bonnie Gale. She has continued her craft since, cultivating her own crop of willow and refining her technique. In 2017-18, she will work with apprentice Lorraine Felker, of Schuylkill County, who is one of the featured artists at the Walk in Art Center. 

Willow cradle basket, created by master Patty Dillman

Willow basket created by master Patty Dillman

Willow basket created by master Patty Dillman

Willow basket created by apprentice Lorraine Felker

Willow basket created by Lorraine Felker

3) Kormassa Bobo, Master Artist and Saigay Sheriff, Apprentice -- Liberian Dance

Liberian dancer, Kormassa Bobo, and her daughter, Saigay Sheriff, received a 2016-2017 Apprenticeship in Traditional Arts award from the PA Council on the Arts. In the following video, Kormassa appears on the viewer’s left, and they perform a traditional Liberian dance for a Liberian congregation at a Philadelphia church.

4)  Viji Rao"Ganesha Om" by Viji Rao, Philadelphia

This video contains excerpts from Rao's performance titled "Om Ganesha." Rao is a master in the PA Council on the Arts' Folk and Traditional Arts Master/Apprentice program. Rao has worked with multiple apprentices over the last 10 years.

One flexibility of PA's Master/Apprentice program is that it allows accepted masters to also apply as apprentices, in cases where a specific nuance of the art form may be explored to greater depth. Rao completed a 2016 Apprenticeship in this fashion, during which she traveled to Chennai, India to learn two varnams from 81-year-old Professor C.V. Chandrasekhar.

5) Salt Rising Bread

This video highlights the historical background and science behind salt rising bread and provides details on the Master/Apprenticeship project that began at the Rising Creek Bakery and the community outreach activities conducted by both the Master Baker, Genevieve Bardwell and Apprentice, Antonio Archer in 2017 – 2018.

At 2:32 min: history and science of salt rising bread

At 13:42 min: Apprenticeship and community outreach activities