Shared from the 3/21/2019 American Press eEdition


SAGE group ‘goghing’ on Houston field trip April 2


Special to the American Press

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Houston is a traditional Hindu temple built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a denomination of the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism.

The McNeese State University SAGE Series is “goghing” on a field trip to Houston on Tuesday, April 2.

The group will visit The Museum of Fine Arts to see the travelling exhibition “Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art,” as well as the Hindu temple, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. McNeese art history instructor Aline Baldwin will accompany the tour.

The exhibition, which runs through late June, is making its only stop in Houston, and features more than 50 works by the painter from various points in his career, as well as correspondence between Vincent and his brother Theo, all on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, as well as some other European collections.

Leisure Learning coordinator May Gray said she decided to integrate the trip into the SAGE season when she saw the show was coming to Houston, and also got McNeese art history teacher Bridget Mc-Daniels to do a SAGE Series lecture about Van Gogh in preparation for the field trip.

“When I saw that exhibit was coming to Houston, I reached out to Bridget, who has done other SAGE lectures for us, and it was just perfect,” Gray said. “The chance to see these Van Gogh paintings, not just to see them but to have more information about what these things mean, what all the colors mean, and how they represent his mental states. It’s really special.”

McDaniel’s lecture is being shown on the C-Gov channel everyday at 3:15 and 9:15, both a.m. and p.m., through March


For more info about the exhibition, visit www.mfah. org.

In the afternoon the group will tour the Mandir, a temple for Hindu followers to pray and worship. According to their website, the Mandir “is built according to the Shilpa Shastra, a collection of architectural treatises that have been an integral part of Indian architecture and engineering for thousands of years ... elevating the soul to the pinnacle of God-realization according to Hindu philosophy.”

Also featured at the temple is an exhibit that highlights significant contributions from India to global culture, religion, science and technology.

The temple is composed of Italian marble and Turkish limestone, hand carved in India and assembled at its home in Stafford, Texas. More than 1 million volunteer hours were utilized in the construction of 33,000 pieces that make up the temple.

“The architecture is exquisite. It’s really exciting for me, to see these other religions and cultures. I hope everyone enjoys it, it’s going to be a beautiful day,” Gray said.

To see photos of the grounds, and for more info about the Mandir, visit www.

The cost for the SAGE trip is $135 per person, and spots are still available.

Participants can register through March 27 by calling 475-5616. Send checks, made payable to “McNeese Foundation,” to Box 92375, Lake Charles, LA, 70609.

The bus will meet in the McNeese Stadium parking lot and leave at 7 a.m. and return around 8 p.m. For more information, email mgray@

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