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1. a natural object or animal that is believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and that is adopted by it as an emblem.
a person or thing regarded as being symbolic or representative of a particular quality or concept.
Since time immemorial spritiuality and symbolism has played an important role in the arts. The 2020 International Juried Show at Beacon Gallery calls artists to take this concept of the “totem”, an item that represents a symbol of a quality or concept (spiritual or not), and to submit artwork on this theme. The artwork may be in any medium that feels appropriate.

We invite artists to explain their works in short paragraphs in order that their importance or symbolic nature may be adequately appreciated by the jury.

$1700 in prizes will be awarded: $100 for 3rd place in 2D/Digital work, $200 for 2nd place and $300 for 1st place; $100 for 3rd place in 3D/sculptural work, $200 for 2nd place and $300 for 1st place. Best in show: $500.


Lydia Gordon

Lydia Gordon is the associate curator for exhibitions and research at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Gordon is the coordinating curator for Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction and curator of Vanessa Platacis: Taking Place. Upcoming projects include Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle, accompanied by the multi-author scholarly publication, featuring her essay “History Forward: Jacob Lawrence and Contemporary Art.” Gordon also serves as an adjunct professor of Modern Art History at Montserrat College of Art. She earned her BA in art administration from Simmons College in 2010 and her dual MA in art history, theory and criticism, art administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017.

YoAhn Han

YoAhn Han is a Korean painter based in Boston whose work is a visual dialogue between suppression and desire, a duality which speaks to both his experience of cerebral arteriovenous malformation and to his bifurcated cultural identity.

He received his MFA 2D at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and obtained a Bachelors of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). YoAhn’s work has been shown internationally, in the United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands. Recent solo shows include “Metamorphic Desire” at Essex Art center (Jan, 2018), “My Princess, Bari” at ARTMORA Gallery in New York,  “Alluring Confinement” at the Artlery 160 in Boston, and 매혹적 가두어짐 (Enchanting Box) in Seoul, Korea. His work has also been exhibited in several group shows including “Summer Palette” at Chase Young Gallery in Boston, Seventh Juried Exhibition at Prince Street Gallery in New York, ART BLOSSM Exhibition at ARTMORA NJ, and Sanqtuary at Distillery Gallery in Boston.

Yo Ahn has also participated in the annual MassArt Auctions and the 2016 Busan international Art fair.

Christine O’Donnell

Christine O’Donnell is the Owner and Gallery Manager of Beacon Gallery. Christine has juried many shows around the Boston area for galleries, art associations and museums.

Christine is also a member of Newton, Massachusetts’s Cultural Council, which distributes overs $30,000 in grants annually. Christine has a master’s degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.




Dec 20 11:59 pm – Deadline for Entries

Jan 6th – Tentative Acceptance Notification (delays will be announced)

January 20th – Postmark deadline for all shipped works

January 25th-27th – In-person delivery of all accepted works

February 7th  –  Totems: opening reception & awards announced

March 15  – Show closes

March 16/17 – Artwork pickup


Guidelines: (see Call For Entry Legal Agreement for an exhaustive list)

Competition is open to all artists 18 years and older.

Each artist may submit digital samples of recent original 2D or 3D artworks (artwork must be framed and/or ready to hang (wired or d-rings) or otherwise display) in any medium.

The image submitted must accurately represent the art being submitted.

Video artwork may be submitted.

Artists are responsible for any display needs such as pedestals, etc. unless otherwise arranged with the gallery (NB international artists – please contact gallery regarding shipping display needs for 3D works)

If work is accepted, artists are responsible for shipping costs to and from the gallery.

NB: The gallery is not responsible for any works damaged in transit to/from the gallery or from any damage resulting from poor framing.

A non-refundable fee of $35 entitles the artist to submit up to 5 pieces of artwork for consideration. Only one image per artwork, please.

The gallery may decide to accept any number from zero to all 5 pieces for the show.

You may submit work as NFS but need to submit a price for insurance purposes.

For all sales, Artist-Gallery split is 50%-50%

Submission of your entry is considered acceptance of the terms and conditions of the competition.