rejection

February 4, 2013

As an artist, rejection is part of the game. Over time, you learn to not take any of it too seriously. Recently, I applied to a juried art exhibit in Chicago. I could tell right off the bat that this exhibit was not only well-organized, but that the person running it was on top of things. Immediately after applying, I received an email saying they had received my application and would be notifying me in a few days of acceptance or decline. This alone was rather impressive. Most often, emails sent out into the art world go completely unanswered and unacknowledged. Then, after a few days passed, I did indeed receive a second email stating I had not been accepted into this particular show. First, to get an email that says you WEREN'T accepted is highly unusual. Usually, only notification of acceptance is sent. So, I immediately liked this gallery even more for being considerate enough to follow-up with those artists who were not in the show. But what I really liked was the content of the email. It was clear that this gallery owner is also an artist and has been on the receiving end of rejection himself. Everything he wrote in his email was spot on, so I thought I'd copy it here as the best "rejection" letter I have ever received:

Dear Karen,

Thank you for submitting your work to the "copy.right?" exhibition. It was a difficult process of selection with close to 150 artist submissions and over 300 works of art from across the country. Unfortunately, we did not accept your work into this exhibition. The decision is final and does not mean that your work may not be accepted in future calls for artists.

The jury process was done very carefully in order to present a well-balanced and varied exhibition that would best represent and embody the idea of appropriation. Even though your work was not selected, the review process presented us with a unique opportunity to get acquainted with your work.

As an artist myself, I have been both accepted and denied entry into juried shows many times in the past. However, being declined from a show has never stopped me from doing and believing in my work. By submitting work to a large national juried show one understands that acceptance may or may not be attained. Nevertheless, the beauty and audacity of art does not depend in the acceptance of one or two individuals but in the restless drive of our own humanity.

Thank you again for sharing your work with us and for your interest in 33 Contemporary Gallery. Please do not be discouraged to participate in future call for artists.

With respect and sincerity,

Sergio Gomez, MFA
Curator/Gallery Director

3 comments on “rejection”

  1. I love your honesty in sharing a rejection letter. We've all had the experience one way or another.

  2. Wow, what a nice letter. Someone took the time to think about how it was going to be received ... must be a Midwesterner 🙂

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