IN or OUT?

Today is Intake Day at the WAAM again, and dozens of artists will slog through the late winter street muck and rain to submit their pieces to be juried for the upcoming exhibit.  By Wednesday, we’ll smile to see our names on the list of accepted works or be dismayed to varying degrees if we didn’t make it this time…and on Thursday pass through the red door again to bring our work back home.

As artists, our egos are fairly fragile, and hardened as we may be against “rejection,” it always hurts a little.  Some of us react with anger, some with tears, some with a shrug and “try next time” attitude, and some swear we’re done with art altogether, or done with the WAAM.

It helps to have an understanding of the submission and jurying processes.  We have to remember that IT IS NOT PERSONAL.  The Exhibition Committee has worked hard to select unbiased and highly qualified, often prestigious jurors who are not members of our group, and it’s important to respect their vision and their decisions.  Something we, as individuals wanting our art to be viewed, tend to forget is that an exhibit is much more than simply a gathering of the “best” work hanging on walls…an exhibit is a work of art in itself, with the juror as the artist.  He or she attempts to create a cohesive and balanced show in which the pieces compliment each other and show to their best advantage.  This means that many very worthy works simply don’t fit that vision and must reluctantly be put aside.  Often the same piece that is declined for one show will win an award at the next one…this has happened to me and to a number of other WAAM artists.

It’s very important to present your work at its best: be sure it is nicely framed and matted, that it  looks clean and professional.  If you can afford it, have it framed professionally, or at least make sure your mat is well-cut and not smudged, any nicks in the frame are touched up, the glass is polished, and that it is wired properly for hanging.

When your name is not on the Accepted list, the best attitude is the one of the shrug; trust your own judgment and if you’re proud of your work, bring it back next month.

Check out the “random interesting art stuff” for a most interesting article about the judging process, from Professional Artist magazine.

Categories: Uncategorized

3 replies

  1. informative, welcoming and illustrated! yes, I think I saw that crowd there last time…


  2. I personally cannot drive back and forth to drop off/pick up work that is rejected. Instead I am working with ASK and Cornell St among other venues to show my work.

    Rejection IS personal. Saying it isn’t, is like saying the Emporer is wearing clothes. On top of that, after one pays the yearly fee, plus the driving back and forth time and expenses and only ends up in one show, at the very end for the holiday, it just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t stimulate the desire to keep participating.

    When one has shown their work internationally, they do not look forward to this kind of situation and that is why I participate in other places at this time.


  3. We’re very lucky that we live in an area where there are venues for artists at different stages of development, styles, financial levels, and preferences. Some handle the stress of possible “rejection” with more difficulty than others, and the show-everything galleries are great for those folks. This post was meant primarily for those who do choose to be juried, to help them better understand the process.



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