E ach year we hold two juried shows here at 23 Sandy Gallery. And today was one of the two days each year I just dread. The call for entries for juried shows draws artists from near and far, many of whom I know well, or even have met briefly at some point over 16 years of being part of the book arts world. What makes days like today so difficult is sending out rejection letters for artists who didn’t make it into the show. I just HATE doing this part of my job! This is all made even worse when I am the juror for the show and have no one else to blame.
As an artist I know how hard it is to receive a rejection letter. I myself just got a tough one a few weeks ago from a curator I highly respect and was just heartbroken not to be included in the show. I took all that time to make new work for the show, paid an entry fee, filled out the (long!) entry form, shot photos of the work and then waited and waited for word. There is a lot of time, money and emotional energy involved. When rejection comes it is always a rough blow to my ego and my spirits.
The process of deciding who gets accepted or rejected is long and difficult. There are always many, many more entries then can physically fit in the gallery. I won’t bore you again with my process as I’ve written about it at length before here.
Happily, as a gallery owner, the rejections are offset somewhat by sending out acceptance letters on the same day. When I stop fretting and really take a good long look at the artwork that will soon be gracing the gallery walls, it gets very exciting. I still feel thrilled by the beautiful concept, structure, execution, materials or myriad other things that make the book arts such an amazing field that I am proud to play a part in.
Thank you to all of the artists who have submitted to 23 Sandy’s juried shows over our first six years of being in business. These shows are a big part of why we can stay in business. Thank you especially to all of the artists who submitted to FEAST, the source of my joy and pain today.
A hearty thank you as well to the many artists who handle rejection with aplomb. Their kind emails always make me grateful to be part of such a supportive community of artists.
Stay tuned for more information about FEAST. It’s going to be a good one! What really surprised me was the wide variety of topics explored by 88 very talented artists including cookbooks, family food histories, (several!) books made as sandwiches and books celebrating the sensual nature of food (think ravishing radishes and curious cauliflowers). Then there were many books on the thought-provoking side of food including famine foods, genetically modified food and even cannibalism.
While I offer congratulations to everyone who participated, here is a list of the artists accepted into FEAST, which opens here in the gallery on May 10th. Mark you calendars now for an artists reception that same date, from 6-8:00 p.m.
Robin Bachtler Cushman
Bessie Smith Moulton
Julie Shaw Lutts
Bonnie Thompson Norman
M. L. Van Nice
Elsi Vassdal Ellis
More info coming soon! Stay tuned. Next up: catalog production.
Have a good weekend,