Artist Amanda Giacomini brings Buddhas back
The architect of an art project that brings peaceful Buddhas to city walls is coming to Bloom Festival this year to discuss how art integrates into yoga.
Amanda Giacomini, an oil artist from California, created the project she calls 10,000 Buddhas, following a trip she took to India in 2006. While there, she visited the Ajanta Caves, an UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back over 2,000 years.
“When we went to see [the paintings], I was just blown away,” Giacomini says. “One in particular was of a 1,000 little Buddhas sitting together, and this just really captivated my imagination.”
Years later, the image kept appearing to her.
“That image of all the Buddhas sitting together, in some ways, really reminded me of the feeling I get in practicing in community.”
Her husband, M.C. Yogi, practices classes sometimes of 10,000 people, all meditating together. Giacomini says it’s something very unique to be a part of a movement of that many people all wanting to be more conscious and create a more peaceful world.
Inspired by other artists who have pushed a particular subject matter to the limit and the feeling she got from the original, Giacomini decided to paint not 1,000, but 10,000 Buddhas on public and private walls, as well as wood panels to be hung.
That’s the feeling she hopes people get from her murals, something called brahmananda: “brahma,” meaning the divine in Sanskrit and “ananda,” meaning bliss.
Now at 11,880 Buddhas, she has no plans to stop. In fact, she plans to bring her project to Edmonton’s public walls while she’s here. But Giacomini is not just an artist, she’s also a devout yogi of over 25 years and in fact says her art and her yoga blend in many ways.
“Sometimes I meditate, and sometimes I do postures, and sometimes I chant, and sometimes I paint. They’re all just different forms of the same thing.”
The meditative and healing place that she’s in when doing any of the above is something that Bloom Festival aims to bring to Edmontonians, explains Robindra Mohar who started the festival with his wife, Myrah Penazola.
“It’s all about helping people to live a life they really love,” Mohar says. “We wanted to help make Edmonton be a healthier city and just make yoga, and meditation, and music, and art more accessible so there’s more community in the city.”
Now in it’s fifth year, Bloom’s purpose really is all about personal growth, though the festival itself has also grown considerably. It has risen from roughly 300 the first year to over a 1,000, the festival is built upon the increasingly large community of yogis in the city. With 57 events planned, there will be workshops, concerts, and classes held all weekend by widely-loved speakers and yogis.
“Overstressed and overtired is just way too common. It’s like a badge people wear nowadays. You see more and more people suffering from stress and anxiety,” he says, which is what Bloom aims to combat.
“We’re just here to make Edmonton just a little better,” he says. “You don’t have to travel the world to bloom, you can bloom right here, bloom where you’re planted.
Thu., Oct. 5 – 8
Shaw Conference Centre
Passes available at