Call for artists: The 46 Million Turkeys Project (closed)

Call for artists: The 46 Million Turkeys Project (closed)

The 46 Million Turkey Project took place at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine over Thanksgiving 2013.  Follow this link for information on the exhibition!  →


CALLING ALL ARTISTS & ANIMAL LOVERS! We need your help filling the Harlow Gallery with 46 million turkeys this Thanksgiving season.  Really. We’re serious.

Click here to see some 46 Million Turkeys Project submissions  on Flickr!

We have submissions from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Virginia, USA; from British Columbia and Ontario,  Canada; and from Germany, Ireland and Italy so far (as of November 6, 2013).

Sponsored by McKee Billings Attorneys of Augusta, Maine.

Mail your turkey drawings, doodles, fiberart, prints, paintings, caricatures, cut-outs, sketches or sculptures, plus the official entry form, and an optional donation of $1 (per mailing, not per turkey) – 50 cents will support this project at the nonprofit Harlow Gallery and 50 cents will be donated to Peace Ridge Sanctuary in Penobscot, Maine at the end of the project – to the following address:

46 Million Turkeys
Harlow Gallery
160 Water Street
Hallowell ME 04347

  • The Absolute Criteria

    • Please represent your turkeys with dignity.
    • Your art should represent a living turkey—not meat!
    • Turkeys only—no other species please. (We love all animals, but this project is about turkeys.)
    • Please do not use animal products (feathers, bones, fur, etc.). Works that contain animal products will not be included in the project.
    • Use recycled materials when possible!
    • Do not make your turkeys from perishable items (e.g. fruit).
    • Keep each individual turkey creation no more than 2” x 2” for two-dimensional work and 2” x 2” x 2” for three-dimensional works. Due to the limited space of the final project this requirement is necessary, however your submission may be larger if you’ve taken into account the requirement of each turkey measuring 2” x 2” or less. For example: you may submit a bound sketch book with pages filled (both sides of sheets preferably) with 2” x  2” drawings of turkeys.

 Visit for complete guidelines and information about the project overall.


46 Million Turkeys – the exhibition

This year during Thanksgiving week, November 25-30, 2013 the Harlow Gallery is hosting Cheryl Miller’s 46 Million Turkeys project.  The Augusta, Maine based artist is exhibiting 15 years of turkey portraits, and inviting the public to help her artistically create 46 million turkeys representing the number of birds that will be consumed in the United States over the Thanksgiving holiday.  You do not have to be an artist to participate – visit Miller’s website to find out more.

 All of the turkeys submitted will be included in the week-long exhibition at the Harlow Gallery November 25-30, and gallery visitors will have the opportunity to create their own turkeys during the exhibition. The public is invited to meet the artist and witness the final turkey count at a closing reception on Saturday, November 30th from 5-8 pm.  The Harlow Gallery will be open special hours for this event;  Monday – Thursday noon to 6pm (yes we’ll be open on Thanksgiving!) and Friday and Saturday noon to 8pm.

Years ago while working at a sanctuary for farm animals, Cheryl Miller experienced a Thanksgiving like no other. Thanksgiving was a major celebration for the farm’s staff—but with a twist. Staff would prepare and serve the resident turkeys a feast of greens, cranberries, squash, and pumpkin pie. “It was so delightful for me to watch the honored guests gather round, cluck, and peck at the offering prepared just for them,” explains Ms. Miller. “It was without question, one of my favorite and most memorable Thanksgivings since becoming a vegetarian in 1980.

Following that experience, the artist created a personally meaningful tradition to celebrate the holiday. For the past 15 years she has painted turkey portraits on Thanksgiving. This year, taking the tradition a step further, the artist will invite the participation of gallery visitors and visitors to her blog site, to assist her in creating a mini portrait for each of the approximately 46 million turkeys destined for holiday tables in 2013.

According to  Miller, “The National Turkey Federation estimates Americans ate approximately 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day in 2011. While a significant number of people think of themselves as animal lovers, there is a persistent barrier getting those same people to acknowledge turkeys are sentient animals—like their cat, dog, and bird companions—who possess desires and preferences, and experience pleasure and suffering. If asked to distinguish individual turkeys among thousands crammed into a shed or barn, most people would “see” little difference between the animals. And yet, each bird is a unique individual. In what promises to be a bountiful project in the making, I invite members of the public family to “join me at the table” to create an artistic remembrance of every single one of those 46 million birds.

About the artist:

Cheryl Miller was born and raised in Staten Island, NY. She received her B.A. in Fine Arts from Hunter College in NYC and moved to Maine in 1988. She credits reading Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer as the beginning for everything that followed. She currently resides in Augusta, Maine.

Cheryl Miller - Thanksgiving 2010



  • I have to say, even though I am not a vegetarian, this is an eye opening project! I fully support Cheryl’s endeavor and hope others do also.

  • A truly impressive undertaking, I vow to not eat turkey this thanksgiving just to show my support. I have been working on my project to support the artist.

  • Love it! Thank you Cheryl for creating this amazing work, and thank you to the Harlow Gallery for showing it.

    • Thanks Gene! I met my first living turkey at Farm Sanctuary in 1998 and it was that same year I began the tradition of painting turkey portraits on Thanksgiving. Thanks to Farm Sanctuary for providing turkeys with a life-long home and making it possible for folks to meet a turkey.

  • Is this project restricted to US citizens? I’m Canadian..

    • No restrictions, you are most welcome to participate!

  • Hi! Gene Baur posted this to Facebook a while back and I had sent an email asking when the deadline is to submit artwork. I never received a reply… When is the deadline? I am from NH and now live in Sacramento and there are a few of us out here who would like to contribute to this great project! Thank you!

    • That’s so great Jen! Get them to us before Thanksgiving – they can arrive the week of the show or before, so you have plenty of time. Thanks so much for your interest. –Deb Fahy, Harlow Gallery

  • please contact me! I am a vegan/vegetarian artist and would love to help out with this project… where do we send the art to? who can we contact by phone or email??

  • […] drawing up a bunch of turkeys to submit to the Harlow Gallery’s show, The 46 Million Turkey Project. Here are the first […]

  • […] Some of the turkeys I’ve been drawing for the Harlow Galley’s 46 Million Turkey Project. […]

  • […] Here are some more of the turkeys I’ve been sketching up for the Harlow Gallery’s 46 Million Turkey Project.  […]

  • […] Here are some more of the turkeys I’ve been sketching up for the Harlow Gallery’s 46 Million Turkey Project. […]

  • […] Here are some more of the turkeys I’ve been sketching up for the Harlow Gallery’s upcoming 46 Million Turkey Project!  […]

  • I am so glad that a friend of mine in North Carolina told me about your quest for 46million turkeys.
    My Turkeytrot Gang of 11 turkeys I hope fills a spot in your endeavor to fofill your project.
    Good luck. I can’t wait to see them altogether.

    • We LOVED your turkey gang Robert, it was hard to hand them over to Cheryl Miller (she has all turkey submissions in her keeping until Thanksgiving week). Did you see the flickr stream?

  • […] drawing these turkey portraits for the Harlow Gallery’s 46 Million Turkey Project. Just a few more pages before I have an entire notebook […]

  • […] filled up my notebook with turkey drawings for the Harlow Gallery’s 46 million Turkey Project.  (This is the back cover.) I can’t wait to see all the turkeys everyone has sent in for the […]

  • […] Davis’s presentation is part of a holiday program hosted by the Harlow Gallery featuring artist Cheryl L. Miller’s 46 Million Turkeys project, to include Miller’s beautiful and haunting portraits of turkeys, on display during the week […]

  • […] 2013 – deliver turkeys anytime during open hours, noon -8pm including Thanksgiving Day.  Click here for details.   DECEMBER – 8x10x100 the FINAL year – December 6-28, 2013   Deliver work during regular gallery […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.