Our People

Master Locho, Founder & Master Painter

Master Locho has studied Thangka painting since 1988 under the guidance of Master Tempa Choephel, a Master teacher at the prestigious Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, India. Norbulingka is a center for preserving Himalayan Buddhist arts and culture, where Locho worked as an artist and assistant Master until 2000. He then founded the Thangde Gatsal Art Studio and School, where he teaches traditional Thangka painting. He is wholly committed to the practice and preservation of Thangka art.

Sarika Singh, Director & Master Painter

Sarika Singh

Sarika Singh is a both a Master Thangka painter and a passionate cultural activist. She was born in New Delhi and presently resides in Dharamsala with her husband and two children. She is the world’s first female Thangka painter, as well as the first Indian to have practiced the art form. In her many years of study she has contributed immensely to the preservation and promotion of Thangka paintings.

After completing her graduation from the Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, in 1997, Sarika studied Thangka painting at the Norbulingka Institute for six years and then co-founded Thangde Gatsal Studio and School with her husband Master Locho in 2000. Her vision is to transfer the knowledge of the existing Thangka Masters to the global community in order to preserve the art form at its highest quality while raising awareness and appreciation of the Himalayan Buddhist culture.

Leah Carnahan

Leah Carnahan lived in India for 10 years practicing meditation. An artist herself, she taught children to create and be expressive, offering ongoing classes from her home in the Himalayas. Visiting Dharamsala in 1998 she met Sarika and Locho. The devotion and passion that Sarika expressed in her paintings was exceptional, and inspired Leah to help her sell her first paintings. She enjoyed promoting Sarika and the paintings and began to sell them internationally. When Sarika and Locho started the Studio, she decided to create this website to raise awareness about the Thangde Gatsal and generate donations. It has been a life long dream for Leah to support artists and help to provide them with an atmosphere where they may flourish. Leah continues to work maintaining the website, offering customer service and hosting an educational slide show for museums and art galleries on the process of creating a traditional Thangka painting.

Roscoe E. Hill

As a professor at the University of Denver in Colorado, Roscoe traveled to Dharamsala with students in winter of 2002. Incredibly moved by the mission of Thangde Gatsal, Professor Hill has spent the past several years aligning students and Thangde Gatsal for volunteer experiences each year. Through these interactions, students have had the opportunity to be exposed to and moved by the studio, and have also played a role in assisting Thangde Gatsal on various projects. Not only has Roscoe brought a yearly supply of energetic student volunteers to Thangde Gatsal, he also has been a personal supporter. He continues to sponsor students, has become a founding member, and has played an integral in generating awareness and donations in America.


We acknowledge with thanks the legal work for processing the international non-profit status of Thangde Gatsal by Martha Feltenstein and assistant Emily Satterwaite.