Janeil Engelstad: Darkness Descends Slowly; Light Wraps Itself Around Us (Heaven is Now)

Group performance

For the past decade Janeil Engelstad has filmed noted Spiritual Teachers and Healers, trained in Eastern traditions, building stone stupas throughout the United States. At Aurora, selected footage from this project is interwoven with footage of Engelstad building a stupa at sunrise on the California coast, which will be screened on a monitor in an installation that includes hand-made prayer flags, meditators and audience participatory components.

To see at
Crow Collection of Asian Art

Section within the
Dallas Arts District

Janeil Engelstad lives and works in Seattle, WA and Dallas, TX. Collaboratively and independently, Engelstad has produced multiform projects and exhibitions throughout the world. Her creative practice and community advocacy work often dovetail into projects that address historical, political and metaphysical concerns. Her process involves embedding herself in communities, deep listening, research, exchange, and building coalitions between community members, arts institutions, universities, government agencies, NGOs and others.


Valuing collaboration as a central component to her creative practice, Engelstad has partnered with organizations that include Art Margins, California Museum of Photography, Central European Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Dallas Museum of Art, International Center for Photography, Kunstalle Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Oboro / Montreál, San Francisco Camerawork, US Department of State and others. Engelstad is the founding Director of Make Art with Purpose (MAP), an international organization, which produces arts education programs and artist-led projects that address social and environmental concerns. Her work has been widely published and she has taught and lectured at universities throughout North America and Europe. In 2006 she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava, Slovak Republic and she is currently an affiliate artist at the Social Practice Art Research Center at University of California, Santa Cruz. Engelstad practices Transcendental Meditation, is a certified Esoteric Healer and has spent over two decades exploring and studying Eastern spiritual traditions and the Shamanic traditions of Peru, all of which inform and underpin her creative practice.

A biennial public art event of light, video and sound.

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