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Wednesday, March 7, 2012



Linda Mary Montano B:1942 (b. Saugerties, New York)
Raised in a Roman Catholic family, Linda Montano joined a Catholic convent (1960-62), then studied art at the catholic College of New Rochelle, New York (B.A. 1965). She received an M.A. in sculpture from Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy (1966) and an M.F.A. in sculpture, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1969). While teaching at a catholic Women's schoo, Nazareth College, Rochester, New York (1969-71) she took her first yoga class, then met Dr. R.S. Mishra (later known as Shri Brahmanada Saraswati) who became her spiritual guru. From him Montano learned about the chakras and meditation. She acknowledges that yoga was an important catalyst for her personal spiritual growth....she evolved away from "object making" and directly into performance, using her body to become "living art." In 1971, Montano moved to San Francisco, with her photographer husband Mitchell Payne, became involved with the burgeoning performance art scene, and continued her Hindu studies at the Yoga Society of San Francisco and Ananda Ashram, Monroe, NY, with Dr. Mishra. She also spent time in Los Angeles, studying with Maezumi Roshi at the Los Angeles zendo. In 1981 Montano and her partner, composer Pauline Oliveros, moved to upstate New York and lived at the Zen Mountain Monastery, a meditation training center, and trained with Daido Loori. At that time, Montano also studied with Tibetan meditation master Kalu Rimpoche. In 1983, Montano left the monastery to join Tehching Hsieh in his Art/Life: One Year Performance in New York. One of Montano's best known performances is Fourteen Years of Living Art (1984-1998), a durational piece based on her personal interpretation of the yogic chakra system; during each year she performed chosen disciplines and wore different one-color clothes in honor of the seven chakras. During this time she also provided Art/Life Counseling and tarot readings each month at the New Museum, New York for 7 years (1984-1991). Montano returned to the practice of her root religion, Catholicism around 1995 and now performs as MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA.


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