Thursday, April 15, 2010


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?


  1. I know how you feel Ann. I just suffered rejection from a show I really wanted to be in. I sent an image of a quilt I personally loved, even though I knew one of the jurors and that it probably wouldn't impress her. I did it anyway as well as a few others, 5 to be exact....not one of them was chosen. I just move on...because I got accepted into another show at the same time! Of course, with different work. Oh, and by the way, I love your quilt with the white certainly does tell a story.

  2. Thanks for sharing Ann. Rejection isn't fun, but we know hot pick up and move on.

  3. It's true: we can all relate to rejection! That said, I tend to think you should always please yourself in these things. After all, presumably you did in the past and got into other shows (including the Smithsonian). I like your attitude at the end.

    How do I relate to rejection? Not well, alas, but I get it all the time........

  4. Thanks Katherine, Gerrie and the Unstoppable Miss Tinky--You are all right--rejection is no fun but one must simply pick oneself up, maybe learn a bit from it and get moving. After all, if we didn't get rejected it would mean we weren't really trying.

  5. I love your work, Ann.

    You never know *why* something was declined. Maybe your work would make the rest of the entries look horrible by comparison and they simply needed the other entries to have enough work! Maybe you are too "art" for what they had in mind. Could be dozens of reasons.

    The fact that people love these pieces enough to purchase them is the REAL verdict!

  6. do the work for yourself and it will speak for itself. the eye of the beholder is overrated. your eye is the only eye that counts and juror acceptance is just an added bonus. It is not the be all and end all because there are just too many talented artists out there. It is the venue space that is limited not your talent.

  7. Thanks Cynthia and 15. I agree with you Cynthia that who knows and it is not worth figuring out. And 15 I agree that it is their problem--I just need to find another venue--I do have a couple in mind already.

  8. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I think all artists have been there, and it's always so disconcerting. I like all the comments because they encourage our endeavors, no matter what. We do what we do, and keep doing it. I once sent a gallery a CD of my work, and never once got even a reply. But, many months later, while I just keep working, I developed a great relationship with another gallery. Good luck at the Smithsonian!

  9. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the input. I agree--we must all support eachother.

  10. Hello, Well, for what it's worth, I absolutely love those quilts, especially the second since I have it hanging on my wall; :) I love the white dashes, the quilt makes me so happy every time I look at it. I love the contrast of the white dashes, it gives so much character to the image, which is simple, elegant and interesting. Love it!

  11. I too love that quilt Leslie--always have. In talking with my friends--it was a very strange jury this year. I was not the only person who got wait listed who shouldn't have.

    Oh well--I've already found a couple of shows to apply to--may even get to do a trunk show in the Boston area. I'll keep you posted.