Everywhere in the world, people have long created symbols to embody ideas and ideals, to transmit practical information, to create identity, to create art, and to build community. Lotus’s Spring 2013 arts outreach focuses on this universal endeavor. We invite you — especially folks who live in or near Bloomington, Indiana — to create symbols that help us describe the character of our community.
In late March, at our annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar, we’ll use these symbols to create patterns that tell a story of Bloomington, and hand-print the patterns on fabric panels for display at a venue this spring, as well as at the 20th annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in September 2013.
Follow the links in our Power of Pattern User Guide (on the left) for inspiration and guidance – including two free workshops (one on stamp carving and one on block printing) hosted by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The Power of Pattern is more than an art project: we hope that it will encourage you to see the rich tapestry of symbols that is the backdrop to our everyday lives.
How to Participate
1. Create Three (3) Symbols
- One should be your rendition of a symbol from a longstanding cultural tradition, anywhere in the world.
Examples: American popular culture, Native American cultures, African Adinkra traditions, Middle Eastern hamsa and “lucky eye” symbols, symbols in languages such as Chinese — and many more.
- One should be your drawing / design / interpretation of the lotus flower.
The lotus grows in many places around the world. Do a bit of research to find out more about the flower, and what it might symbolize in different cultures. Then, create your own version of a lotus.
- One that is a symbol of your own design, expressing something about your community.
Create your very own, original design to express a key aspect or characteristic of your community. “Community” may mean: Bloomington • your school • your organization • etc.
IMPORTANT: Do not submit logos, school mascot images, letters, words, flags, or copyrighted symbols.
2. Follow These Design Specifications
- Make sure that each of your designs will fit inside a 6” x 6” square.
- Include a brief explanation of what each symbol means and (if applicable) what cultural tradition it comes from.
- Send us your designs in black ink on white paper (or digital equivalent).
3. Send us your three symbols.
- Mail copies via USPS to:
Lotus Education & Arts Foundation
ATTN: Loraine Martin, Outreach Director
P.O. Box 1667
Bloomington IN 47402
- Email digital files to:
symbols [at] lotusfest.org
Digital files should be scans (NOT photographs). Each file should be no larger than 1 MB.
Please note: Although we will acknowledge all submissions, we reserve the right to choose which symbols to use in the Lotus Blossoms Bazaar printing project. We may not be able to use all designs submitted.
Contact Outreach Director (and symbol wrangler) Loraine Martin, loraine [at] lotusfest.org or (812) 336-6599. Download a PDF flyer with basic information about the Power of Pattern project.
Part of 2013 Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach. Made possible with support from the Bloomington Arts Commission, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Ivy Tech – Bloomington, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lotus Blossoms made possible with support from Old National Bank Foundation.