Taking it all too seriously– from Jeanne

“Artists shouldn’t enter the arena of competitions until they are tough enough to realize it is only opinion and not a reflection on their worth.”  (Mary Moquin)

So… I got a rejection letter.  None of the pieces I submitted were accepted, although I’ve been in that particular exhibit twice in years past ( most recently about three years ago).
The above is one I submitted. Problem is with form letters, you never know what it was that made them reject it. I’ll only be able to speculate when I go to the exhibit.

I’ve noted before that they seem partial to some 3-D element for the prize winners, but I haven’t tried that yet.  There are a lot of ways that could be done with my work, but without my work by nature being 3-D,  I suspect it would look contrived. I also get frustrated when I get too far away from the actual drawing (like those pendants, where the glass cutting and soldering is time-consuming).  Cutting paper, layering paper, rotating layers of paper, mirror-edges around the design–all of them  sound cool but don’t really sound fun to put together.  I’m really not a paper-crafter.
I have a couple of other ideas about how I can give them more depth, so I suppose I’ll concentrate on that first.

I have a couple of little peeves about these exhibits. The first is the application fee (in this case, $25, which isn’t too unreasonable). The second is that photography and other kinds of art work are usually grouped together, and I think photography exhibits/competitions should be held separately from other media.  I think photography is an entirely different beast, especially now that good cameras are affordable and it’s so easy to use the computer in conjunction with that.  I love it, but just because it hangs on the wall doesn’t make it the same thing.

Evaluating my work is a constant process, always there in the background, but it’s good to put it up front sometimes.   Right now the difficulty of getting exposure to promote sales makes it a challenge in ways that don’t have anything to do with the  difficulty of doing the work.  I hope I’ll be able to draw some  honest conclusions later on.  Maybe that will include submitting some photographs next time.

There’s one nice little conclusion to this form-letter rejection, though. I was shelf-reading at work last night (shelf-reading is checking the shelves to make sure that every book is placed in exact order). I always keep an eye out for bookmarks since I have quite a collection. Usually I find check-out receipts and boarding passes. This time, in a book called “The Lord is my Shepherd”, I found $26.00. Just enough to cover the application fee and postage to send the cd. Is that cool, or what?


11 responses to “Taking it all too seriously– from Jeanne

  1. Jeanne your work is brilliant, you know it is….. God knows it is. End of story. Feed ’em beans honey. What value does approval from your inferiors hold anyway….. Have a beautiful day my friend! Looks like the CC’s know it is too. Love ya!

  2. Jeanne: As the Mehitabel Don Marquis was associated with in his life, and all the ones reincarnated from her I’ve been associated with in my own life were fond of saying, “There’s another dance left in the old dame yet.”

    Or as I’m fond of saying, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I wouldn’t want to have fall on me.”

    Your art’s welcome to fall on me anytime it wishes. Meanwhile, whatever those juries and judges have to say about the next exhibit, seems to me it’s all a matter of personal tastes. Sorry your recent pieces didn’t get selected, but glad you did them. I wouldn’t dodge if I saw this one coming at me. Hang in there. Jack

  3. Is there some way to view your work online? Do you have a website? The piece above takes my breath away.

  4. hi Dia, there’s a Deviant Art page at http://mandalagal.deviantart.com/gallery.
    Otherwise, if you’re on facebook, I’m on there as Jeanne Kasten, Mandala Dreams for an art page, and Jeanne Bangs Kasten for a page where I show photos and sometimes art work. Thanks for asking!

  5. That’s gorgeous; I’m impressed.

  6. Fantastic of the great cosmos to pay for your fee. but i am alarmed that you would even THINK of adjusting your beautiful original work so that the judges whoever they are might like it. Stick to your guns. And remember a rejection letter is just words on a piece paper from a stranger who had to look at another piece of paper to find out your name.. and as a photographer i completely agree that images should be in another section. i would hate to have to compete with your glorious colours… c

  7. I see no reason why your work would be deemed deserving of form letters – I think it’s beautiful!

  8. Rats, Jeanne! Sorry to hear this; your work is good!

    • Ah well! It’s still a good exhibit. I never miss it whether I’m showing anything or not. Another great one is in the spring, put on by the City of Overland Park at the rec center on Lowell and 119th. I’ll try for that one next.

  9. Hi Jeanne,
    I have the same complaint with the rejection form letter. The only consolation I get from the form is that I am not tempted to change my work to suit their preferences, ha!
    Finding the $ to cover the entrance fee- happy serendipity!
    Your work is beautiful.

  10. How lucky to find the money for the entry fee and postage. Guess you are meant to be there. By the way, I think your designs are outstanding!

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