Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Project Check-In

As most of you are probably aware, The Blank Canvas Project was created as my independent creative project for my grad studies in Creativity in Educational Practice. Every so often, I need to check in with the project and write about where it's at. I thought, in the spirit of openness and the celebration of the positive, I'd post my reflection here this time.

The project has taken on a momentum that is so exciting. As of this post, I have sent 207 canvases out into the world. I have received 36 canvas photos and stories back so far. It has been really interesting to see what people have created. There's been huge variety of the different topics and themes people tackle in their art.


Two themes that seem to come up a lot are:

Hearts and love

Canvas # 27

Canvas #11

Canvas #137

Words of Inspiration

Canvas #18

Canvas #24

Canvas #36


The canvases have been placed all over the world. Most of the canvases have found homes here in Alberta, but canvases have also been placed in Halifax, Hollywood, and Abu Dhabi!

Canvas #13

Canvas #37

Problems and Snags

The main problem I've run into with my project is people not meeting the one month deadline I've asked them to stick to. I completely get this. I understand that life gets busy. I think it would be very easy to put the package in a pile and just sort of forget about it. And then look at it when you walk by and feel like you should work on it, but then life gets in the way again and you forget.

At the beginning of the project, I wasn't tracking the date I sent the packages out, but started to keep track in September. I sent some check in e-mails to all the people who received canvases in August and September, and a few people submitted photos in response to that. I think I will just need to keep e-mailing people just to remind them about it, even though this would, I'm sure, be very annoying to receive. However, I have put a significant financial investment in this project, which I would hate to lose.

Another problem the project had was that some participants worried that canvases placed in public places and businesses might be mistaken as art that was supposed to be there. People don't know if they should take the art, or leave it, or in some situations, like in libraries and coffee shops, if it's part of the decor and supposed to be there. So I decided to get some tiny labels printed, which will grace the easels from this point on.

A Question

I've only had six people leave a note on the site saying they found a canvas. Two of those people then signed up to participate in the project. But I am really really wondering what has happened to the rest of the canvases! Did someone take them? Are they still where their creator placed them? If people found them, why didn't they go to the site? Just an unanswered pondering that keeps running around in my head.

All in all, I am really pleased with where this project is right now, and I get so happy when I see an e-mail in my inbox from someone wanting a canvas or sending in a photo for the story. I am just loving the creativity that participants are demonstrating. I also am so excited at the thought that people are finding these canvases and being surprised by them. If I came across a canvas out there in the world, I would be so thrilled!

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