Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Parade of Shame

Any artist who has ever entered work into a juried art show can tell you that there are two ways to get your work under the jurors' eyes.  One is to send in electronic images.  The other is to bring your work to the exhibit venue in person.  Some shows offer both options, some only one.

If your work is rejected after having been submitted electronically, nothing else is required from you.  But if it's rejected after you brought it to a venue in person, you have to retrieve it in person.  If you have to drive somewhere to get your rejected darling and carry it out of the building, that's a little ritual I like to call the Parade of Shame.  If the trip involves any kind of distance, there's that much more sting to the shame.

Oh, sure, I know that rejection is nothing personal, and that it's not a critique of my work in general or my worth as an artist and a human being.  I know there are plenty of other factors at play in jurors' selections.  Rationally, I know that.  But when I have to drive an hour each way for this ritual, I get to stew in my juices, and that's how I came up with the concept of the Parade of Shame.

I've participated in the ritual several times for purposes of consideration for the Annual Connecticut Artists Exhibition at the Slater Museum in Norwich, Connecticut, about an hour from my home.  http://www.slatermuseum.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=694
Each time I make the drive, I think that once again hubris has triumphed over convenience.  The drive does have some scenery going for it, though.  When  you get down almost to Norwich, heading south on CT Route 2, there are some pretty dramatic road cuts :

Also, the Slater museum itself is an impressive sandstone edifice in the Richardsonian style:

Its architectural ornamentation includes some dramatic bas relief friezes executed in sandstone, but unfortunately I don't have any images of those.

So are the scenery of the drive and the architecture of the Slater adequate compensations for four hours of driving with no other payback?  Every year when I do this, that's the question.  And every year, hubris has informed the answer to that question, only to be whomped upside the head by rejection.

Until this year.  Not only were both of my pieces juried into the show, one of them took first place!

Coastal Heath took first place
Streetside Lace was also juried into the show.
 Holy Guano, Batman!

I have to note that this is only the second time my art has won an award.  The first time was in 2013, when Two Ways of Looking at Seaside Goldenrod took second place at the West Hartford Art League's Annual Members' Show.

Two Ways of Looking at Seaside Goldenrod
The felted portion of this piece is my first-ever felting project, and I think it holds something in common with Coastal Heath:  they're both images of Cape Cod, and they both involve the same blue-green-yellow color palette.  Hmm.  I wonder if there's something to be learned there.

And now there's also another new question:  have I now lost the privilege of whining about the Parade of Shame?

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