The Furman University Art Department is pleased to announce an Open Call for the exhibition We Must Cultivate our Garden. In Voltaire’s Candide, Candide begins his philosophical journey remarking that “this world is the best of all possible worlds,” but by the end of the book is discontent with unkind reality. Candide ultimately concludes that humanity can never be wholly fulfilled – there can always be a better world – but that men might be content by pursuing hope anyway – “we must cultivate our garden.”

It is all too easy to become jaded in a time that romanticizes suffering. Therefore, we encourage submissions that challenge cynicism and combat the ubiquity of negative images on display in our society. We Must Cultivate Our Garden looks for artists who explore deeply, digging to find the good in daily trials and celebrate the victories – small and large – in our own lives. Pieces do not need to be bright in color or flowery in subject – rather, work exploring the profundity of practical optimism will be preferenced.

This exhibition is a juried group show in the Thompson Art Gallery at Furman University and will showcase the work of 3-4 artists.

      • Artists from or living in the Southeastern United States
      • Entries of no more than five images
      • Multi- and non-traditional media encouraged
      • Brief concept statement (not exceeding 250 words)
      • $25

Applications due June 15.
If you have any questions, please email:

Application Materials:

    • All Applications must be compiled into one PDF file and uploaded here.
    • Please include:

      • Artist statement
      • CV
      • Five digital images (72 dpi)
      • Please include titles, media, date completed and dimensions.
      • Contact info including your address, email, and website

*$25 registration fee (make checks payable to Furman University Art Department) Please mail checks to:

Art Department
Furman University
3300 Poinsett Hwy
Greenville, SC 29613