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Michael Mize Art Blog

Rejection Acception

by mize , March 28, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Exhibitions, inspiration

Early last month I noticed a "Call for Artists" on the homepage or our local public library. The proposed juried exhibition was for all varieties of printmaking. I've typically not been one to submit entries to juried exhibitions, due largely to a lack of confidence in my older work. Or perhaps more specifically, confidence that no one in my small midwestern city will appreciate what I have to offer.

However, this time it was different. Right away I felt compelled to participate. I've always enjoyed printmaking and I thought the new direction in my work, of which I'm fairly confident, would translate well into a block print. I was instantly excited, quickly chose my subject matter (Abraham & Issac from Genesis 22) and set to work finding my composition, cutting the plate, and pulling some prints. I had a little over a month and I just managed to get my submission turned in on the last day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the production of the print, and decided as a result I would make block prints for each of my new canvases. I've been investigating methods for generating smaller, more economical, options for potential buyers interested in my work. So as a result of that decision, my next to pieces are planned out. I'll do a block print of the canvas I'm currently painting, (Shadrach, Meshach, & Abendego from Daniel 3) and I'll do a painting of the composition from this block print. I don't know if any of you are like me, but knowing that far in advance what your next pieces are going be is a rare and exciting occurance.

So then it was time to play the waiting game. The deadline for artists being notified was a month later. Rather than let myself go crazy with anxious wondering, I turned my worries over to God. I was well aware of the fact that a lot of good had already come from me getting involved in this endeavor. Not only did I discover a new direction in my work, but I completed another piece and had a great time doing it! I reminded myself that if it was in God's plan for me to make it in the exhibition, I would. If not, so be it.

I received my answer in the mail a few days ago, and it turns out that I wasn't intended to be in this exhibit. And after an initially disappoinment, I've been able to stick to my resolution and accept it for what it is. Not that big of a deal. I've also come to realize that the next exhibit oppurtunity that comes around will be far less intimidating after having gone through this process.

Ultimately, I learned a lot in the past month and a half. And so in that regard, this experience has been a big success...and more importantly, a lot of fun.




  Mary-Sonya Conti ( homepage )

10/18/2008 * 05:58:03

rather than looking at it as rejection, have come to the belief that it is a learning lesson. Each one turned over to another for "jury" has to bring about a response of some sort (not only for you but for the viewer) We artists are optimistic in heart; mind and stroke. We know that the one selected to present has each stroke counted and tales behind the scene that we put out there not just to be juried; but more so to be appreciated. In that appreciation is my approval whether it be "rejected" or accepted I loved walking the path towards it. Your work is marvelous; you are expanding and more importantly the work is changing and connecting with another. Thank You for posting it.


  Tom Risher

07/13/2008 * 22:01:59

I also have been rejected a lot. I think it has more to do with the jurer than the art. If the jurer is an oil painter and your painting is an acrylic you can see it coming--rejection. If the jurer paints in a realism style and your work is abstract--rejection. You would like to thing that jurers are objective and non-bias in their judgements--but they're not. Human nature with all its prejudices takes over.


  Sandy DeCristofaro ( homepage )

04/04/2008 * 16:00:49

Having just received a "not being chosen" notice yesterday, I can wholly sympathize with your angst. I convinced myself that any notification - accepted or rejected - would be met with maturity and understanding. That lasted about ten minutes and then I called some empathetic friends, complained bitterly, and then moved on. Today, I find it rather amusing. I'll continue to take the risk if I think the situation is right. We grow from our challenges and I have a lot to learn.


  Mary ( homepage )

04/03/2008 * 13:04:23

Rather than rejected I like to use the term "not being chosen". I have a file folder stuffed with letters of "not being chosen". It softens the blow in my own mind, because it used to really bother me, I would get so disappointed and vow I would never submit something again... Now that I look back, maybe my work wasn't up to the standards of the show. I needed to work harder and get better. I am highly suspicious of shows that have only one juror. There is no way the result couldn't be skewed.
I submit very seldom now, I don't have the time or the interest and besides that folder is too full.


  Deb Ward ( homepage )

03/29/2008 * 14:44:45

Entering a show is taking a risk - but if you don't risk it you will always wonder "what if." You just have to remember that art is subjective, and when entering any show it all boils down to one person's opinion of your artwork on a specific day at a specific time. Maybe the juror is just having a bad day, or maybe he just likes certain types of work better than others, and your medium isn't his favorite.
You have to learn to take it with a grain of salt - or try to skew your work toward that juror - you might get into the show, but you might not like your own work! I know people who research the juror on the internet and then either paint subjects or name their pieces so they lean toward the judge's preferences - which I think cheapens the work you do.
If you know you have a good piece, keep entering it, and good luck!



03/28/2008 * 22:33:43

Hi Michael,
I have been there so many times and rejection is my middle name. I entered a show last Dec. It is a very hard show to get into--due to the jurer. They always pick a non artist, it seems, that goes for strange things. I had some new work that I thought surely it would make it--however, it did'nt. It does take a day of disappointment--but I got over it. We went to see the show, which was at our museum, and I was upset to see the art that was chosen. I still try to get in shows, but it is a hazzle. So don't let it get you down--just keep trying. Your work is great. Millie


  Michael Savageau ( homepage )

03/28/2008 * 19:22:56

I am going through the same thing. I haven't entered anything yet but am going to enter a national competition. I figure I might as well jump right in. I figure that any rejection is not personal just that as you said it wasn't meant to be for that particular show. I feel any constructive critisism will help to improve my artwork. Good luck on your next exhibition.

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