Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12

Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12
Night Time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12View at Strand Center for the Arts Plattsburgh, NY

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A fragment of underdone potato.

March is almost done and it appears going out like a lamb is not going to be the method. Snow, freezing rain - just lovely. Good News though. Two pieces made it into the Wichita Center for the Arts Pastel 2012 which opens tomorrow. The show was juried by Sally Strand, one of my all time favorite pastel painters.

Getting that particular envelope in the mail was a vindication after receiving so many "Not Exhibited" notices. It does make one wonder why an artist submits work to juried shows at all. My husband the left-sided land surveyor, is always amazed by the process of art. Create, present, hang in the gallery and maybe someone wants to spend the rest of their life with it - or maybe they just need some eye candy.

In juried shows I have learned to rationalize that not getting into a show is sometimes about someone elses good or bad day, whether they ate their Wheaties or - my favorite line from "A Christmas Carol" from Scrooge on the existence of Marley, "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato." Just a burp away from no.

In other words,  a bit of a bad day one day and the next day there would be a whole other perspective and an entirely different show on the wall. 

Then I came across a well written blog by an artist who had just juried a show and I have to say I got where she was coming from. Judging art is an arbitrary process. Everyone has a different idea of what works and the reasons for a jurors choices can be based on so many things there is really just no accounting for the choices. 

So why do it? Good question. It costs money to enter, to ship (yikes!),  to prepare the work for a good presentation, and in all likelihood whether you win anything or not, the piece will come back to you unsold and back on your own studio wall. I can hear my husband now. "Not good business." (Really he does support my work but we approach our businesses differently.)

It is about receiving the recognition. Getting bragging rights. Show off the work as validated. That recognition does come back in other intangible ways. I received an award for a plein air piece in 2010. Right after the announcement I was approached about giving a workshop at a beautiful location. Would I have been approached if I had not received that validation, that recognition? I don't think so.

And I still own that piece. Go figure.

On the plus side one of the works in the Pastel 2012 was sold. The process is all just a bit arbitrary.  

I 'm heading back to the studio.

"On the Cusp" 20x16 Pastel 2011 atf