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EAC to offer new class in Rangolee Art from India

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EAC to offer new class in Rangolee Art from India

By Jeanné Clark

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Art Department recently announced that it will offer a new class, Rangolee Art from India (ART 118, section #0529), for the Spring 2009 semester. Taught by Madhuri Bapat, a native of India, the class will focus on the ancient art of Rangolee, which originated in India and uses colored sand as its medium.

The term Rangolee comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “a creative expression of art through the use of color.” The art form is traditionally expressed by drawing images and motifs on the floor and walls of a home using different colored powders.

This one-credit class will be offered on Wednesday evenings from 6 – 8 p.m. in Math/Science Building room #109. “Anyone who is interested in art, especially from other parts of the world, will enjoy this class,” says Bapat. She emphasizes that it will be “a hands-on learning experience.”

“Students will learn to draw at least ten designs on a drawing pad and with colored sand,” continues Bapat. “Most of the designs are unique and based on dot matrix—rectangular, isometric, and fractals—making Rangolee a form of mathematical art.”

Bapat is a full-time physics instructor at EAC, a field that is, surprisingly enough, closely associated with Rangolee. “Fractals, one of Rangolee’s primary patterns, are also used in explaining theory of Chaos in science,” says Bapat. “In addition, the knowledge of symmetry and pattern is very important in science education, and it’s been proven that students who have worked in Rangolee art experience heightened mathematical and logical reasoning skills.”

Bapat’s students will also study the myths and stories attached to the various designs and their significance to the culture of India. She invites everyone to “Experience the magic of Rangolee art—medicine for your mind, brain, and heart!”

To register for this class, contact the Records and Registration Office at 428-8270 or register online at