May 6, 2021 – June 26, 2021

Storytelling. It is what makes us human. The metaphorical webs we weave of loss and reconciliation, adventure and homecoming, tragedy and joy, fear and laughter, help us navigate the endless complications and contradictions of everyday life. They help us make sense of the world, and the feeling within any great story which touches us on such a profound level often goes beyond the very words and images that make up a given tale. A good story transports us, but a great story gives us the ability to journey to somewhere else rather than merely escape from something. Great stories are more than just pleasurable distractions.

Through allegory and symbolism, great stories, no matter how fictional, far out, or ridiculously imagined, remind us of this world, our lives, however difficult and complicated life can be, helping us psychologically deal with the constant angst of reality. There is always truth in the silliest bedtime story, just as there is always reality in the most fantastical fairytale. It is why so many stories have survived the ages. It is why we have survived the ages. Great stories help us grow.

So, it comes as a great relief to know people are still telling their tales. In this day of never before imagined issues and age-old problems which have yet to be solved, image-making and tale-weaving as visionary, reconciliatory actions are as important as ever. And just as with the great storytellers of old, today's mythmakers' stories are about this world and this reality, transformed through the boundless magic of their imaginations into new, complex forms and symbols: personalized vessels of their own unique experiences, yet universally restorative for us all to understand if we choose to take the adventure.

This is the great adventure which all the artists in the Eighth Annual Blank Canvas art exhibition are inviting us to embark upon. On display are the personal visual stories shared by artists from communities far and wide who have harnessed and maintained their creativity through the trials of the pandemic. Since the beginning of Blank Canvas, we have sought to connect people through creative expression in diverse and inclusive ways. This art initiative has always been a means of uplifting personal stories and visions, and in 2021, we celebrate the many ways in which artists everywhere have once more found the strength and power to share their experiences via their creativity and varied bodies of work. 


This year, we are grateful to launch a hybrid platform, which includes a virtual plenary exhibition of all submissions as well as thoughtfully curated installations on the ground. Our purpose evolves and grows with the spirit and resilience of artists sharing their stories from unique circumstances. In turn, this has extended the opportunity to involve and celebrate artists from all over the world more directly than ever before. We have continued and expanded the tradition of making supplies and tools available to those interested in creating art for exhibition.

Through collaboration with partner curators, additional stories have been woven into the smaller compilations of work in local spaces. In alignment with health and safety considerations, physical exhibitions and installations have been limited and may be viewed at the locations indicated below. We look forward to the future when we can share more art and connect in person safely. Thank you for sharing your stories and for respecting, considering, and uplifting those contributed by people everywhere.


See exhibits in person at these locations