A New Founding Stories Book: The Art of Idealism

City Year is hosting its first ever crowd sourced art competition – and we need your submissions! We are collecting artwork to fill the pages of our very first art edition of  The Founding Stories Book, which is a book of inspiring stories that motivates and inspires the service our corps members provide in schools every day.

To learn more about The Art of Idealism, we did an interview with Senior Creative Director Andy Dean, who came up with the contest and will be designing the final book:

Where did the idea for this project come from?

For some time now I have wanted to reach out to all the amazing creative people that are out there at their sites doing beautiful work (designing murals, teaching art at after-school programs, designing collateral, etc.). I just knew if we could tap into all the talent that comes through our doors everyday we could create something special.  And I am sure that we all have friends outside of City Year who would be inspired by these stories and can also submit entries to our contest.  The Founding Stories seemed like the perfect conduit for this and now I am just excited to see what happens!

What is your favorite Founding Story and why?

Ubuntu. For so many reasons; I love the message, that we are all one people, all connected, and that none of us are whole if any us are denied our rights. I love the clear, concise simplicity of the message: “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” So much is encompassed in those few words (and it can be said in Zulu as just UBUNTU, that is beautiful).

What types of art can be submitted?

Paintings, drawings, collages, woodcuts, photos, crochet — pretty much anything and everything. As long as it can be printed in a square book format, at least 10” x 10” and submitted through our Art of Idealism website. It should be connected to a particular founding story and, of course, appropriate.

How can you submit artwork?

It doesn’t get any easier than this: fill out this short form and upload your art (or a photo/scan of it). Done. If you are unable to send it to us digitally, you can mail it in to:

Attn: The Art of Idealism Contest, 287 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116.

We will be asking finalists to mail in their original artwork (or original digital files).

How are the winners going to be selected?

After 6 weeks of accepting entries, we will have one week of public voting from March 19-25. The finalists for each story will then be reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges who will evaluate the art on the successful articulation of the founding story (how the artwork has captured the essence/message of the story), originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in creating and submitting art?

Be creative. We are looking for a wide range of styles and mediums so don’t just do what might be expected. This art will be inspired by stories and quotes that have deeper meanings so the art can be very literal and based off a detail in the story, or it could be very abstract and loosely linked to the meaning or value conveyed in the story. Have fun and make sure to share out the work through all your social channels!

To learn more about The Art of Idealism, visit the website.

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