‘Garden of Humanity’
To: All Interested Bahá’ís,
Groups, Local Spiritual Assemblies,
Regional Councils and
Travel Teaching Co-ordinators
Dear Bahá’í Friends:
The following information contains some basic information about the ‘Garden of Humanity’ art exhibit, and its availability to interested Baha’i Institutions as a teaching medium.
Each host city is responsible for obtaining the use of a facility to exhibit the art. Public libraries make great venues, primarily due to the fact that they are frequented by many people, including children and youth. Other sites include student centers, coffee houses, public spaces in buildings of all types, and art galleries. Local Bahá’í Centers are a possibility, but look for places that are more frequented by the public at large.
A note about art galleries: most gallery owners are only interested in selling pieces of art. While original prints and copies are for sale, this not the my main reason for offering this art for exhibit. The main purpose for exhibiting this art is to be a teaching medium for the Faith.
It has been my experience that, while the exhibit has been to galleries, its chances of being invited to display in one, are not the best, for the primary reason that art galleries are primarily interested in selling art.
Exhibit Physical Requirements:
A fairly large room, with high ceilings and good lighting is desirable. In order to display all the pieces approximately 110 lineal feet of wall space is needed, but by no means absolutely required. This is if the paintings are mounted in one horizontal row, and allows room for the piece and the quotation that accompanies the each. The exhibit has been hung in double rows, and even triple rows, but the more cramped the area, the more cluttered it becomes, and the less desirable.
It is required that none of the pieces, especially the watercolors, be displayed in direct sun light.
If the pieces have to be near south or west facing windows, try and make sure that the glass is tinted for ultraviolet protection.
Help from about two or more community members, for about an hour and a half (or longer) is needed to hang the exhibit. The use of a small step ladder is necessary. I will bring all hanging materials needed.
Help will be needed to take the pieces down at the close of the exhibit as well.
Each community is responsible for arranging its own publicity about the exhibit. I will provide camera ready originals for copying as flyers, as well as other materials to be used for PI purposes.
Also, I will be available for media interviews, newspaper, television, and radio.
An exhibit run of at least 30 days is desirable. There have been shows that have extended for two three months as well. Try and arrange for at least six weeks, if possible.
Exhibit Promotional Materials:
Exhibit promotional materials, including color copies of the pieces in booklet form, and color slides of the work or CD-ROM of the art, will be provided upon request. Also, try and make use of this web site to show to those who are in charge of exhibit selections.
A forty minute slide presentation, with the quotations read, and accompanied by soft back ground music is available as a public proclamation event. Space requirements are for those of any public event, determined by the local community. It is ideal that this presentation be at the exhibit venue, but not mandatory.
It is also recommended that this presentation be given at the end of the exhibit’s run, and not before. It has been my experience that seekers will better attend if they have had the opportunity to take in the exhibit first.
A slide screen is necessary. If a carousel slide projector is not available, I will bring my own. The images have also been scanned on a CD-ROM disk, and can be shown via a digitized projector, which of better quality than conventional slides. The host community is responsible of obtaining the use of digitized projector.
A podium in the rear of the space is needed, with micro phone capability. Four people from the community are needed to read the writings during the presentations. Ideally two of each gender, with a diversity of racial and ethnic back ground, if possible.
Hopefully there is an individual in each community that can provide light, improvised musical accompaniment for the presentation. Keyboard artists, pianists, guitarists, and wind instrumentalists have performed with the presentation in the past. Musicians are required to perform non stop for the duration of the presentation. If a local musician is not available, then music from CDs or tapes can be employed.
It is expected that each community will provide hospitality, including lodging, and perhaps some meals, if possible. Also, as I have a few close friends, one or two, that enjoy accompanying me (including one very close non-Baha’i friend) so please include provisions for them as well. Having friends travel with you as you teach is very desirable.
There is no charge to any Baha’i Community to for the use of this exhibit. Its primary purpose is to teach the "Healing message of Bahá’u’lláh" through the use of the visual arts, and not for personal financial reward of the artist.
It is expected however, that some sort of travel reimbursement, including mileage, can agreed to between the artist and the community.
Availability of Art for Purchase:
As a means to offset the costs associated with the exhibit, a variety of prints, posters, note cards, and copies of the art are available for purchase. Prices vary from as low as $15.00 for poster art and note cards, to $100.00 (or more) for a limited edition signed print.
This concludes the outline of basic exhibit requirements. If there are any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to bringing the ‘Garden of Humanity’ to your area.
Yours, in His service,
James A. Johnston