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#CBfromHome Activity: Nature Mandalas

This week’s #CBfromHome art activity is inspired by a work in the Crystal Bridges collection titled Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers (1969) by Alma Thomas (1891-1978). Learn more about the artwork below, enjoy some close-looking prompts, and try out two activities (one indoor, one outdoor) at home – perfect for adults and kids alike!


Look Closer at Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers by Alma Thomas:

“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.” Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas, (1891 - 1978) Lunar Rendezvous, Circle of Flowers, 1969 Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Alma Thomas, (1891 – 1978)
Lunar Rendezvous, Circle of Flowers, 1969
Oil on canvas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas




  • Take a moment to examine this painting. Let your eyes follow the paint around. What types of colors and lines do you see? In what shape are all of these elements arranged? 
  • Lunar Rendezvous-Circle of Flowers was inspired by an image of Earth taken by astronauts on the moon in 1969. Alma Thomas imagined herself on the moon looking down at Earth. This perspective is called bird’s eye view. How does her painting remind you of our planet? If you could paint your own version of Earth, how would you depict it?
  • The vibrant colors and patterns in the painting refer to Thomas’s flower garden. What types of colors do you see? How do these colors remind you of a garden? What flowers could they represent? 
  • Alma Thomas worked as a junior high school art teacher in Washington, DC for over 35 years. Do you have a teacher at school who inspires you? How has this person helped you? 











Indoor Activity: Draw from Above

Materials: Pens, pencils, paper, and colored pencils/markers

Things look very different when you see them from above, don’t they? Think of a place you are very familiar with, like a playground, your neighborhood, or Crystal Bridges, and try drawing it from above! 


Outdoor Activity: Nature Mandalas

Materials: Outdoor nature items such as rocks, leaves, twigs, grass, or flowers. 

In its simplest form, a mandala is a circular structure with a design that radiates out symmetrically from the center. You can find mandalas in nature in the circles found in flowers, tree rings, spider webs, seashells, fruits, and more. What other circular images in nature come to mind?

Create a nature mandala using only objects from outside. Think about the patterns and shapes you see in nature as you create your design. Here are a few examples:

When you’ve created your nature mandala, snap a photo of it, share it on social media, and tag us @crystalbridgesmuseum with the hashtag #CBfromHome.

We look forward to seeing your creations!



Special thanks to our sponsors:

Youth and Family programming is supported in part by AMP Sign & Banner, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Juan, Marcy and Joaquin Camacho, The Coca-Cola Company, iHeart Media, JTH Productions, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Pinnacle Car Services, Procter & Gamble, Gordon and Carole Segal, The Simmons Family Fund, and ViacomCBS Consumer Products.

Education and Learning is supported in part by Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Pamela and Wayne Garrison, Doug and Shelley McMillon, Jack and Melba Shewmaker Family, Neff and Scarlett Basore, Galen and Debi Havner, Lance and Sharon Beshore, Cardinal Four Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Harry Cornell, Cox Communications, Dorothy Hurt, J.M. Smucker Company, Kimberly-Clark, Nice-Pak Products, Inc., The Russell Berrie Foundation, Stephen and Claudia Strange, Felix and Margaret Wright.