Rejected By Local Yokel Art Show

Who am I in the photography world?  I lack training or any formal photo related education.  I certainly did not go to art school or make a thesis statement.  I have never had a show at a gallery, or coffee shop, or dive bar.  I have no style or signature thing that I do.

I am a self taught amateur who happens to be in the photolab business.  I have every tool imaginable at my disposal, so I can tinker about with processing and printing, though ironically I can only grasp the basics of photoshop.

I tell you this because I recently entered some of my work in a local photo exhibition.  This is not San Francisco.  This is just south of the city in an unamed(you figure it out)  beach community of 40,000.  I live here.  We do not have a Whole Foods or a fancy restaurant, and I would say this is not a sophisticated town.  We do have an art center that has regular shows, and I realize that the size of a community has little to do with the artists in residence.  This was a juried show and as far as I could tell from the entry form, there was no clear theme.  For 15.00 bucks per you can enter as many pieces as you like.

So I entered thinking, what the hell it’s a small town, maybe I’ll get in.  Well I did not.  I got a letter saying so, and little else.  Now I’m pissed!  Who is this jury person to reject me, and why can’t I at least have a one sentence critique?  And, what the hell is a juried show anyway?  Jury of my peers?  It’s one person I’ve never heard of.  I’m crushed and my ego is bruised and I will berate this art show to anyone sitting next to me in the local dive bar.  The bar where starting next month you might be seeing some new work by a certain unschooled photographer who for now, shall remain nameless.


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7 thoughts on “Rejected By Local Yokel Art Show

  1. patrick says:

    Yeah… I’ve never had a photo pass muster with any jury/jurist either. I’ve begun to think that many of those who get into juried exhibits are predetermined. Jurists get around and they know whose art is whose. Many of them are indeed art school graduates (BAs, MAs, whatever) and there is a taking care of their own that seems to me to take place.

    I went to the pinhole show reception last weekend at the RayKo and I can’t for the life of me figure out how the First Prize (or Grand Prize… whatever they called it) was selected. There were at least ten images (if not more) that I would have chosen well ahead of that one. I had the same head-scratching response to their toy camera show top place finisher.

    Last year (or so), I entered the online Artists Wanted contest and again, judging by the winner, began thinking that these shows are organized by people who want to do a show involving their friends but need the capital outlay to do it, so they have a contest. I know… perhaps that’s a bit more cynical than I should admit, but those kinds of ideas occur to me when I see what is supposed to pass for extraordinary work.

  2. makaylab says:

    It’s a shame that art has to come down to such subjective selection……and yes, who are these judges??? Your work is amazing, and I have see your photos and writing in magazines so I know you’re published, even if you haven’t got the local coffee shop spot 😉

  3. Steve Silberman says:

    “It’s a shame that art has to come down to such subjective selection…”

    What would you rather have, objective selection by robots?

  4. John says:

    What a shame – your work is brilliant. And you should show it. I too live in a small beach town. We only have 8,403 people here so we’re much smaller but… I know several business owners and I’m sure they’d be happy to show my art if I were in the mood to get the pieces together for it. Why don’t you get yourself a space and go for it on your own?
    Then, some of those stuffy judges might take notice and well – who cares right?

    good luck!

  5. alyssa says:

    all i have to say is….

    what haters.

    keep moving forward! I still cant get into any shmancy gallery shows either, everyone and their mother is an artist now-a-days.

  6. risenhoover says:

    “Unfortunately, your work was not selected for this exhibition this year. Keep in mind that each juror expresses the opinion of one individual curator, and that we had over 400 artwork entries from over 130 artists this year. We encourage you to persist in your artistic endeavors and to consider submitting for a future exhibition that has a different curator viewpoint.”

    Rejections, I get them all the time, just keep shooting!

  7. Heh, what do they know?

    Love this shot BTW; I was admiring it earlier in the week at the store.

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