Monday, August 01, 2011

Juried Show Thoughts

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.
http://faso.com/fineartviews/33055/should-i-enter-art-competitions-and-shows
http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/2011/07/thought-about-juries-for-exhibitions.html
http://www.sageartsstudio.com/drawingboard/?p=239&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

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.

13 comments:

Judith said...

I also was recently "rejected". It does hurt a little but art goes on. I'll try again next time.

Bridget Hunter said...

Thankyou for such a encouraging article. Juried shows is a relatively unknown term in UK but the selection committee is just as daunting!

Marian Fortunati said...

As much as I know all of what you said is true, I still feel the sting of rejection and the joy of being "accepted".

You just never know. And it IS really hard to know what shows to enter .... in the end... who really ever looks at your resume???

Luisa said...

like this painting!

Farbwahn / Sketchbook

Tony Moffitt said...

Hi Robin. Really enjoyed your article. As an artist who has won prizes (and been rejected) I can completely understand your bewilderment at some judging decisions! Great blog.

Marilyn Russell said...

Your comments were well thought out and (I think) correct. My favorite story of rejection that I read in an art magazine was where an artist put several of her painting out to be picked up by the trash men. A car stopped and a woman grabbed one of her paintings to put in her car. The artist called out to her "Do you like that one?" The driver replied she only wanted it for the frame! Keep painting, and keep submitting. This writer likes your work!

cissy said...

Great painting and thoughtful comments on entering competitions.....always love hearing what you have to say and seeing what you painted! Thanks

Laura A. said...

Many moons ago, as a mixed media artist, I entered shows and won some awards. Even best of show. The fine artists would come over and shake their heads and be puzzled or upset then walk away. Some shows I never got into and I was hurt. They don't like me/my art?

Now as an oil painter, I wouldn't dream of entering a show at this point. I couldn't stand the rejection! I know every time someone looks at my painting online, or in person they are judging it, but not in that way. I'm just not ready for that comparison judging.

Sheila Foley said...

In the same vein as Marilyn's comment: Years ago I did a portrait of a famous baseball pitcher for a museum in his hometown. I thought it was on of my best acrylics. The way the warms and cools played across his white uniform. The shadow created by his cap. I was very happy with the piece. At the unveiling, the velvet cloth was pulled off and I heard one voice above the rest. "What a lovely easel!" it said.

Anne Marie Propst said...

Very good blog post and helpful to me today as I entered a local juried show. I am hopeful as I always am but ready to put the rejection behind me if I am not. So, if rejected, I will toss a coin to decide if I enter again next year...hehe! Always like your work no matter what!

hmuxo said...

I enjoyed your post Robin, probably because we can all relate to it. We are all winners and sometimes we don't get that "ribbon" but we all enjoy painting and I guess that's what its all about. It's probably worse for the judge...I wouldn't want to be them! I love this latest painting of yours. Very beautiful! and a winner!!

Lola X said...

Great blog!!!! Love it!!!!!!!

Lola x
http://lola-x.blogspot.com

Virginia Floyd said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I'm glad you were able to put things into the proper perspective. Keep painting! Love the painting of your mother playing with your daughter!

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