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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2021 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Lebel Mansion Gallery Call for Submissions for 2022 Gallery Season

    Location: Pincher Creek, AB

    The Allied Arts Council of Pincher Creek strives to host thought-provoking exhibitions that..
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    Location: Duncan, BC

    My carved coffee tables and wood carvings are in the window at IMAGINE..
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    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Call for Instructors Proposals Due March 5th 2021 The NB College of Craft & Design..
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  • Large Works

    Location: Truro, NS

    Our annual winter show of large works is now on display at the..
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  • Exhibition: RE-EMERGENCE

    Location: Calgary, AB

    WE’RE BACK!! After a long and lonely year, 2020, Carbon Point Gallery and it's..
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    Location: Toronto, ON

    Visit Gallery Arcturus – vicariously: “a village dreams” has installations by deborah harris -- Up..
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  • The Chelsea International Photography Competition

    Location: New York, AB

    The Chelsea International Photography Competition (CIPC) honors our gifted talents all over the..
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    Location: , ON

    We are currently looking for 40-50 artists to feature in our next issue...
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  • 12th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 12th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • 5th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Colors art competition for an..
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  • 3rd Into the Wild Quarterly Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 3rd Into the Wild Online Art Competition. 2D..
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  • Call for Proposals: AGO X RBC Artist-in-Residence Program 2021

    Location: Toronto , ON

    Three paid digital residencies available in 2021. Deadline for submissions: March 10, 2021 at..
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  • Call for Artists

    Location: New Westminster, BC

    Are you a New Westminster-based artist with a body of 2D work, who..
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  • Call For Visual Artists-Boynes Emerging Artist Award 4th Edition

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    The Boynes Emerging Artist Award is an independent artist-run International 2D art competition..
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  • A Mysterious Attraction: A new spin on gravitational art

    Location: Port Moody, BC

    Meet the artists at a Virtual Opening Reception and tour of the exhibition. Edzy..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , FL

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Winter 2021 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • “Winter” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2021

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Winter is the coldest season of the year. Containing the shortest..
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  • Call for Artists 2021 Mini Print-by-Mail Publication Program

    Location: , BC

    Deadline: February 26, 2021 Tuckamore Press is seeking applications for our Mini Print-by-Mail Publication..
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    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 Venice | April 01/02 – May 07,..
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  • Beacon Original Art: Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    We invite emerging, mid-career and professional artists to apply to participate in our..
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  • The Salt Spring National Art Prize $41,000 in Awards Call to Artists Open January 1 - May 31, 2021

    Location: , BC

    Announcing The Salt Spring National Art Prize's 2021/22 prize awards of $41,000! CALL FOR..
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    Location: Ottawa, ON

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What are you going to put on your sign?

By Paul Constable, Director April 25, 2014

Mother Told Us to Wait Right Here.
That was 10 years ago.

Even after 30 years in the ad and marketing business I thought I had built calluses to tear jerking ads. I found I still had a heart and a soft spot for certain issues.

Listening to an interview with Terry O'Reilly, sitting in for Jion Giomeshi on CBC Radio, as he interviewed the artist Andres Serranos from New York City, I sat spell bound as I was driving to a meeting. In the short of it all, Serranos was so affected by the homeless situation in New York City that he decided to do something about it. As he walked the streets every day, summer and winter, he would offer to purchase the signs from the homeless for $20. Their reaction was one of amazement; that someone would want to buy their handwritten cardboard sign. Some people thought it a ploy to remove the person from the street or from in front of a business, but it was truly a gesture of sincerity.

The power of words and the image, even if it is in your memory is captivating. Remember, I am listening to the radio as the artist mentions what is said on one of the signs. He said he saw this young girl, possibly 15 years old, standing on the corner holding a sign – it said,

Mother Told Us to Wait Right Here. That was 10 years ago.’

A flood of emotions and thoughts went through my head in an instant. I could just image this girl, dirty face, torn cloths, cold and more - I already hated her Mom. I did the math – she would have been 5ish when left on the street – I hated her Mom even more. Who wouldn't give some change, clothing, food and whatever you could spare to this young destitute person?

After he collected 200 signs he decided he would create a video and mount an art exhibition of the signs to bring awareness to homelessness.

You can listen to the interview on CBC RADIO. Interview with Terry O'Reilly.

Andres Serranos also created a video – take a look on YouTube.

Analysis: I was the market and the message was delivered perfectly.

First, As a father with daughters I couldn't imagine the destitution of this girl, but also that of her mother and the decision she had to make due to her circumstance. I wanted to help or respond immediately. The sign was simple, the copy was genius and the response was obvious.

Second, I was potentially the market of the artist, Andres Serranos, as I rebroadcast his message. Being a disciple carrying a message for another can add strength to the messaging and credibility. My intention was only to use his idea as a vehicle to explain the power of words and imagery.

As an artist marketing your work you need a plan that defines your market and how to reach it and don't forget to include your personal brand. Not necessarily standing on the street corner as a starving artist, but find your advantage and position your message to your potential buyers. Title your show and exhibition to entice, yet define the message of the show, keeping in mind those that you want to be attending. Use the right promotional vehicle to give out the message intended.

You can deliver a personalized message that will effect the interest of a certain demographic, but it is much more difficult to deliver a message that will be responded to by everyone, in the manner intended. Not everyone will like what you are doing, so concentrate on the ones that do.

Stay connected.

Paul Constable, Director