Athenaeum seeks uncreative types for ‘Bad Art’ contest

Westfield Athenaeum staff members pool their uncreativity to make some ‘Bad Art’. (WESTFIELD ATHENAEUM PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Art may be subjective, but the Westfield Athenaeum staff is looking for non-creative types for a Bad Art contest, and the worse it is, the better.

“I have seen other libraries running these types of contests and I thought it would be fun,” said Public Services Librarian Becky Blackburn. “Ours is a bit different as we are offering it to all ages. Everyone has a chance to make something bad!”

Blackburn said for the truly terrible artists who are completely uninspired there are 20 “starter kits” available. The first 20 people to register can have one.

“They are just random objects to get people going on their creation. People can also use whatever they have around the house that would inspire them to create something awful,” Blackburn said.

The contest description calls for anyone of any age who is not creative, can’t draw a straight line and didn’t play well with play-doh, and invites participants to “join us as we make the absolutely worst piece of art possible. You will receive a bag of mish-mashed supplies to inspire you. Use it up, or incorporate things you find around your house, your friend’s house or the side of the road.”

Participants are asked to take a photo of their un-masterpieces and share with the Athenaeum. “If it is really, really, bad you may win a — pretty terrible to be honest – prize,” states Blackburn.

Adults, families or anyone who thinks they can create something really gross is encouraged to participate.

Starter bags can be picked up between Oct. 19-23. Blackburn said artists can use the “awful contents” as a creative jumping off point and can add items as inspiration strikes.

Found objects and recycled materials are just some of the uninspiring and awful objects being used for the Westfield Athenaeum’s ‘Bad Art’ contest. (WESTFIELD ATHENAEUM PHOTO)

Photo submissions for the Westfield Athenaeum Gallery of Bad should be submitted to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 to be considered for one of the “truly unfortunate prizes” being offered.

“Bad Art is truly in the eye of the beholder, but I think the worst will really stand out,” Blackburn said.

There will be an online “Gallery of Bad” on Nov. 6. The winners of the contest will be posted that day. The categories are: Bad, Terrible and The Worst.


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