OK--I must confess--I wasn't even going to write about the first rejection. Who wants to read a self-serving, whiny blog post. Such things happen. The first rejection was for a really good craft show that I've gotten rejected from before. Frequently. I know there are other quilt makers whose work is just as good who apply. Probably the jurors just didn't like my work. Different styles for different people. If I want to make unique work then there will be those who don't particularly like it.
Besides I looked at the slides I submitted--I can see why I submitted them and also why someone who didn't know my work or even decorative fiber could fail to see how wonderful they were.
Here's one of the pieces I submitted. I love this piece. It's sold. But I can see why some one might not like the particular colors or know how hard they are to achieve. No problem. This show is much better done every other year. And I didn't think the set of quilts held together as well as it could have.
But the second show--now that one has my hackles up. Argh!!! Sure there's a new director who may not love my work as much as previous directors. I've no clue who was on the jury--or what slides may have come just before mine. But I know they don't get many quilt makers applying. I've been on that jury. I know how great my work looks at the show--it can be seen from a great distance and draws people in. Indeed my two person show at the Blue Stone Gallery in Milford, PA is a direct result of that craft fair.
Now maybe it was luck of the draw. Maybe the jury was tired. Or had just seen four absolutely spectacular sets of slides and mine seemed a bit off to them. Life isn't always fair though wouldn't it be great if it was (and of course if I got to define what was fair--right?) And I do know that I'm wait-listed and the wait list moves. But still....
Probably I should've used more care in selecting my slides. I admit I have a nasty habit of choosing images that I like assuming others will also like them rather than choosing work that I know others will like--there is a difference. Indeed--I do still like this quilt and I think the white dashes tell a story. But I can see now why someone might not like it. Again it does have a happy home so we needn't worry about the quilt.
But guess what? This quilt will not be used for jury slides again. Ever!!!
And in the end I know that it'll all work out. After all I am doing the Smithsonian Craft Show next week and who knows what will come of that. And this may give me the chance to make some new work and try a couple of shows I haven't done before--there is a lot to be said for something different. Maybe I can even enter a couple of quilt shows that I never have time for.
Thanks for listening. What do you think? Know of any great shows to do that are still accepting applications? How do you deal with that thud of rejection?