Caring Between the Lines

As I suspect many of you already know, I'm now an art exhibit guy. Or something. It's all rather sudden and confusing - like most things about me are I suppose. I guess it might be best if I start at the beginning - although doing so will require a bit of time on both our parts I'm afraid - so please bear with me -- I do promise it will be worth it.

It was actually November of last year when I attended an evening of talks. It's called 'Ignite London'. Actually, I was giving a talk myself that night - but that's a story for another time. Or not. (UPDATE: you can see it HERE). Anyway, all the talk were amazing (I LOVED THIS ONE!) but the one that is most relevant to tonight's story is this one …

In short, my hometown was launching a local chapter of the Awesome Foundation, aptly titled Awesome London. (Worth noting: I live in London, Ontario.) There mission is simple: Forwarding the interest of Awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. Anyways, I originally considered becoming a trustee, but quickly decided I'd instead pitch ideas - that's where the real fun is. I'm a BIG fan of awesome, so last month I went ahead and proposed and idea. (You can read my full submission HERE.) To make a long story short, I ended up winning. Believe me, no one was more surprised than me. The other two pitches (three are chosen from all submissions) were both fantastic and well - I was shocked. Here's a picture of the happy moment ….

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Photo credit: Awesome London

So here we are - now of course I have to make it happen. If you read the proposal (its OK - I know you haven't) I now need to get a bunch of people to send me (local) photographs, book an art gallery, enlarge said photographs into black and white, high contrast posters and get people to come and attend said show. (Easy, right?) The key (for me at least) is that as people come to the exhibition, they'll be handed crayons and encouraged to colour in the pictures. This is the key. Well, to be clear:

1) Colouring is FUN. The chance to colour with crayons as an adult is a joy I want all in attendance to embrace. I LOVE colouring with my sons and I truly believe that many others will get the same feeling.

2) The setting is key - walking into an art gallery and being handed crayons is certainly an AWESOME part of the whole experience.

Did I mention that once completed we will be auctioning the now-completed works off with the proceeds going to the (local) charity of the photographers choice? No? Not yet? Well, we are. Oh, and the event has a name, "Caring Between the Lines" and even a logo of sorts.


So, how am I doing so far? Well, let's check off the obvious. Clearly I have already established a website and a twitter account and a Facebook page. Submissions are now open (you can submit a photo HERE) and while you can submit photos until April 14th, I'm delighted to say we already have nine (I suspect budget will allow for a total of 25-30) which I invite you to take a look at and/or comment on HERE.

I can tell you that the actual show will be happening sooner rather than later. I want to 'strike the iron while its hot'. While final details still have to be worked out, it will be spring 2013 (think early May) and my focus is on the downtown core - both to make it easily accessible to the greatest number of people and to bring people to my hood. The more -- the merrier!

To be clear, I suppose part of the reason for this post was partly to raise awareness for this crazy thing I'm doing, but also to raise awareness about the Awesome Foundation, give my sincere thanks to Awesome London - but most importantly it was this: to give the idea to you. The costs are not prohibitive but clearly there is money involved. If you are or know a charity that might like to try to turn a little money into potentially more - I think this might be just crazy enough to work. You cannot steal an idea that I freely give to you. It is my hope that this show is a success of course, but for me is was all about the colouring - I hope it is a success so that other local charities will ask if they can do it (I now have the framework in place) and we can keep on 'getting our crayon on'.

In the end it is all about the fun. I'm grateful for the support and the love that my crazy idea has been shown so far. I may need help, I may simply need encouragement to keep going - but in the end we are going to get out colour on! Feel free to CONTACT ME anytime with any questions, further information and if you'd like to somehow be involved in the journey or make your own. The exhibition will be here before we know it and I look forward to colouring with each and every one of you. See you soon - I'll bring the crayons!