A Poster Competition: Entomophagy
April 12, 2009
SmallStock Food Strategies LLC , with the support Arts & Business Council of RI, (A&BC/RI) is sponsoring a poster contest about entomophagy (the consumption of insects as food), which will be on display in Downtown Providence from June 15- July 10, 2009. Children and college age students are invited in this contest. The ultimate purpose of this exhibition and contest is to educate the general public of a greater range of food products for our challenging and changing climate. Since entomophagy represents one of the best potential futures our species has on this planet, we hope the public will be engaged and learn from this competition.
With this contest, we hope to educate the public of the following:
Entomophagy (the consumption of insects as food) is a sensible and logical response to current and, probably, increasingly serious global food supply and demand problems.
To communicate this idea to the public in an artistic manner, to break down cultural resistance through visual communication
The poster format is one way to meet this goal. Posters can accomplish a broad range of rhetorical goals, and are an effective method of communication. They are often inexpensive to produce and require relatively little commitment from the public. In these criteria they differ from books and paintings.
A separate document includes eligibility, guidelines, categories, judging criteria, and prizes.
This endeavor stands to benefit the participants, who can add the competition to their CVs; the institutions, which can participate in innovative ideas; SmallStock, which can bring in new methods of communication; and the world at large, which needs saving in a great variety of ways.
For further information, please contact:
David M. Gracer, President
SmallStock Food Solutions LLC 4/10/09
Open to submitters residing in Rhode Island who are between 13 and 22 years old.
Size and Configuration
The posters must be at least 8.5″ by 11″ and no larger than 36″ by 36″. They must be either horizontally or vertically oriented.
The poster must be reproducible. Beyond this, there are no guidelines regarding the design or content. Be creative!
While the inclusion of images of insects (particularly edible species) is not specifically required, we at SmallStock suggest that a poster about edible insects include images of insects.
Any data that might qualify as ‘technical or esoteric’ should include a citation on the poster; yet such data are not required as part of the poster. Information that is wildly inaccurate or appears to be willfully false will disqualify the poster. Similarly, submitters of posters utilizing copyrighted imagery should indicate that they’ve received permission to use the images.
Given the esoteric nature of the subject, a separate document containing URLs for research is available. These links are merely suggestions; any research outlets may be used.
The judges will evaluate the poster’s ability to challenge culturally conditioned assumptions and positively influence the perceptions and thoughts of its audience, which is the average [whatever that means, in the judges' approximation] American.
The main goal of the competition is to generate images that might positively influence – however slightly – the perception of the subject. Submitters should give the subject a lot of serious thought. Posters that sensationalize, or defame, the practice of entomophagy will not succeed in this competition.
Accuracy regarding the particular insects represented in the poster is very important! At least one of the judges will have a background in entomology, or scientific illustration, and will be looking for correct representations of the insects on the poster.
Lastly, the judges will look for originality and comprehensive treatment of the subject.
The posters will be placed in the following categories:
The submitter(s) are not required to specify the category within which the poster will be evaluated.
Three prizes will be awarded. First prize will be $100. Second prize will be $75. Third prize will be $50.
Although these monetary award figures will not change, the organizers may decide to allot additional awards under the heading of “honorable mention,” including for example a special category for image-only or creativity. Prizes will be announced the night of the opening, June 18, 2009. Gallery space to be announced, and all submitters are invited.
Disposition of the posters beyond the competition
Although the ultimate ownership of the poster’s content will rest with the artist, SFS will reserve the right to print the poster and sell it, having entered into a 50/50 division of royalties with the artist (after production costs). SFS has a range of marketing possibilities to offer the posters in question, which would benefit the artist(s) whose work is thus feature.
Since potential submitters might like some guidance as they consider contributing a poster, here are some ideas. This is hardly an exhaustive list.
Some might wish to look at the subject from a global perspective. Such a viewpoint might feature the countries in which people utilize this or that kind of insect. Such a poster might include maps.
This could center on the types of insects most consumed, and their life stages [larvae, pupae, adult]. The submitter could focus on a single species, or family or general type of insect.
Such an offering might focus on the use of insects in the cuisine of one or more cultures. Providing recipes would be an option, and if used then a citation should be included.
This could focus on the advantages of food-insect cultivation over that of larger animals. The discrepancy between the environmental impacts of the two production systems is immense. Much of what mammals eat and drink, for example, is not captured but leaves in the animal’s waste.
In many cases, food-insects contribute to the cultural outlook of a given group of people, in stories, proverbs, songs, etc that show how the appreciation of edible insects have shaped a group’s view of themselves and relationship to the world around them.
How does the nutritional profile of insects compare to that of more conventional foods?
The general public’s refusal to consider entomophagy is somewhat arbitrary, given the popularity of crustaceans (shrimp, crab, and lobster), which are really ‘marine bugs.’ This viewpoint might well make a good entry.