The Power of Pattern

Post image for The Power of Pattern

People have long created symbols to embody ideas and ideals, to transmit practical information, to create identity, to create art, and to build community. Lotus’s 2013 arts outreach focuses on this universal endeavor.

At our annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar in March, 4th-graders worked on a banner created with symbols submitted by student artists. This summer at Lotus arts outreach workshops, we’ll use an array of designs submitted by individuals and organizations from across the community to create more banners for special display at the 2013 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.

Banner-coloring1-webAnd many of these designs — hand carved into blocks for hand printing — will be part of our 20th-year Festival stage backdrop for the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Follow the links in our Power of Pattern User Guide (on the left) for inspiration and guidance. The Power of Pattern is more than an art project: we hope that it will encourage you to see the rich tapestry of symbols that is the backdrop to our everyday lives. Our first call for symbol designs came early in 2013, and resulted in more than 400 submissions.

We’re giving community members one more opportunity to contribute to the project, by submitting a design focusing on music or dance. The deadline is June 21; details below.

Please note: We will not be able to use all designs submitted for the final backdrop project, and we reserve the right to choose which symbols to use in the Lotus Power of Pattern backdrop project. However, we will acknowledge all contributions in promotional material at the unveiling of the backdrop at this year’s Lotus World Music and Arts Festival (September 26-29).


stack-webHow to Participate

1. Create a Symbol Design Related to Music or Dance

    • Your design may reference a longstanding cultural tradition, anywhere in the world; it could also be your original design.
    • IMPORTANT: Do not submit logos, school mascot images, letters, words, flags, or copyrighted images.

2. Follow These Design Specifications

    • Make sure that each of your designs will fit inside a 6” x 6” square.
    • Include a brief explanation of what your symbol means and (if applicable) what cultural tradition it comes from.
    • Send us your designs in black ink on white paper (or digital equivalent).
    • Include complete contact information: Name, organization (if applicable), address, email, phone.

      >> Download a template and example <<

3. Send us your symbol.

    • Mail copies via USPS to:
      Lotus Education & Arts Foundation
      ATTN: Loraine Martin, Outreach Director
      P.O. Box 1667
      Bloomington IN  47402


    • Email digital files to:
      symbols [at]

      Digital files should be scans (NOT photographs). Each file should be no larger than 1 MB.

Although we will acknowledge all submissions, we reserve the right to choose which symbols to use in the Lotus Power of Pattern backdrop project. We will not be able to use all designs submitted.


Contact Outreach Director Loraine Martin, loraine [at] or (812) 336-6599. Download a PDF flyer with basic information about the Power of Pattern project.

Made possible with support from the Bloomington Arts Commission, Ivy Tech – Bloomington, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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