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Call for Art and Photos: “Souls Awakened: The Animals Who Have Shaped Us”

By Jasmin Singer — November 16, 2011

The National Museum of Animals & Society is launching an online art and photo exhibit to “highlight the various ways in which animals have influenced us.” Entitled “Souls Awakened: The Animals Who Have Shaped Us,” this exhibit promises to use the power of art and imagery to both convey the powerful bridges between animals and humans — thus hopefully inspiring compassion and a deeper respect for non-humans — as well as to give us the opportunity to share our own stories of animals who have reached into our hearts and forever changed our lives.

We all have those stories, which is part of why I love both the National Museum of Animals & Society and their upcoming, compelling exhibit. Not only does this immediately bring up for me memories of Rocky, my sweet, patient, brilliant cat who basically raised me, but there have certainly been rescued farmed animals who are not only ambassadors for their kind, but also helped open my eyes about factory farming. I have no doubt you can relate. That is the power, beauty, and mystery of animals.

Rocky, my sweet childhood kitty.

So, I encourage you to spend a few minutes and submit your story to “Souls Awakened.” According to their website:

We are launching an online art and photography exhibit to highlight the various ways in which animals have influenced us. Souls Awakened: The Animals Who Have Shaped Us is a way for YOU and the animal who changed YOUR life to become a part of the bigger picture. Your image and story will contribute to a larger exhibit on the way animals throughout history have changed how we feel, how we think, how we act, and – ultimately – who we are.

To become a part of Souls Awakened, simply send us a digital photograph, drawing, painting, or other visual rendering of one specific animal who shaped you. Then, write us a short paragraph (3-7 sentences) telling us your story: Who is/was this animal? What did s/he do to affect the way in which you view the world? Eligible contributions will be compiled and added to an interactive photo album on our Facebook page and permanently archived on our website. All photos and written entries must be submitted no later than December 31, 2011, 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time. Participants under age 18 are welcome to contribute with their parent’s permission.

Write in whatever way you feel most comfortable expressing yourself – formally, conversationally, a limerick, anything! Don’t forget to include the animal’s name if you know it. The subject of your entry must be an animal you have had a personal encounter with, so no fictional or celebrity animals seen in movies, books, or television – sorry! The image you send can include you or other humans, but it doesn’t have to. If you choose to contribute a piece of artwork, it must be your own work; please see our Terms & Conditions (at right) for further legal details on photo and artwork submissions.

For more info on the National Museum for Animals & Society, don’t miss our podcast interview with its founder and director, Carolyn Mullin.

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(3) Readers Comments

  1. November 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    What a powerful way to exhibit our connections to animals, their sentience, and their impact on our lives. This sounds like a fantastic form of advocacy that will hopefully extend further than domesticated pets to include farm animals and wild animals to really display the power of our mutual love.

  2. November 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I know the museum's project will be a great success, and I'll be contributing to it, too! At Letters To Pushkin, people write a letter (can include a picture) to a companion animal who has passed on. Letters have been written to dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, fish, guinea pigs, etc. Although the primary purpose was to help others cope with loss, the letters collectively have become a growing testament to the way animals inspire us and become members of our families. The museum's exhibit will be just as beautiful and moving, I'm sure.

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