I've gotten a lot of interesting feedback on my whiny post about being "rejected". Its been fun to think about it from many sides - and some folks have sent me some interesting articles so I wanted to share them below.
I pretty quickly got over my rejection. I knew my work was good (puffed up as I am), but it baffled me as to why it wasn't seen as meriting inclusion (let alone awards!) LOL
Art is subjective, there is no denying that what I like and what my next door neighbor like are going to be very different. I enjoy the nontraditional work of Pollack and Kandinsky but I know some artists get rabid thinking about their paintings. Personally, I find them more exciting, say, than a beautifully rendered photorealistic still life.
This being said, a panel of several jurists, viewing art projected on a wall perhaps for a minute if the work is lucky, will each have a very different opinion and if your work is among thousands of entries, and they have wall space for a couple of hundred, the jury is going to have to be very quick and cutting to limit the work. Now, some mediocre work does get in, and friendships are hard to ignore, so I believe there is favoritism. We used to laugh heartily over the show catalog from one association because the work was so questionable, but it was the work of board members, etc. You can't reject them!
I was a juror of awards once for an organized show. And I think I was lucky that the show had a theme because when it got really tough deciding between my personal favorites and the best executed works (in a variety of media), I was able to judge which best represented the theme (to me).
A recent show I was in had us all scratching our heads over the grand prize winner. In fact, it seemed to be WAY out of nowhere, based on the other award winners that juror had selected. Then I read an article about a juror who admitted to choosing a huge $ prize winner based on the toss of a coin. Could that have been complementary to the artists involved?
So I believe juried show acceptance is based on three things: 1. who you know (or who knows you) 2. the merit of the art and 3. a roll of the dice.
Is it worth it to enter juried shows? Yes. I am selective in my entries. I learned a long time ago to never enter a show that was judged by an academic (no offense) or critic, or layman and to only enter shows which would include my peers or those I aspire to count as peers. I want my work to stand among other excellent work. I also don't enter shows that will most likely be filled with abstract or very traditional work, which my work would not fit in with. So I will continue to enter and try not to be bitter when my entry fee brings no return and just continue to paint what I love. When I am accepted, its good for my resume, when I am not, it has no effect on me.
Here are some interesting articles for your perusal. And thanks to everyone who commented, shared, patted me on the back, and commiserated.
ps - the painting above is mine (nfs) - its my daughter with her gramma and its in honor of our recent trip to Cozumel which was amazing! Its hard to come back to reality - no buffets and friendly service here - and no chillin' in the Mexican Caribbean when it hits 104 like it is now - it was cooler there btw.