Thursday, March 4, 2010

Psyching Out Rejection


I’m hoping I haven’t set myself up for the rejection trifecta. The good news is my feeling of accomplishment is pushing all of my self-doubt and negative thoughts aside for the time being –well at least until the end of March. I submitted my Individual Artist Project Grant proposal on Monday, my four submissions (the maximum) to the Anchorage Museum All Alaska Juried Show on Tuesday and my “Good Fortune Pea Pod” design to the The Guild and Artful Home 2010 Call for Ornaments Tuesday night. Whew! Notification for grant recipients won’t be for a couple of months. The artists are notified if they’ve been considered for the All Alaska Show on April 1 and The Guild will notify artists by March 29. As many of you know I don’t take rejection well. The All Alaska Juried Show can even be a bit of a psyche out, due to the fact you can be asked to submit the ACTUAL art based on the digital images you first

submitted, but the juror (this year it is Michael Darling of the Seattle Art Museum) may still reject your work. This has happened to three of my friends, which I find even worse than the “thanks, but no thanks” rejection letter. Rejection seems to put me in a funk that cuts into my artmaking time, so the last couple of years I’ve limited my exposure to the possibility of rejection. What’s different this time is I have many other positive things going on. Sounds simple, but it’s true. For me, artmaking is very emotional and I’m not an artist who makes her best art when she’s angry or sad –well at least the type of art that will pay the bills. I’m saving making art that expresses anger, sadness and lots of black for some future solo exhibition at an obscure New York or Eastern Block European Gallery. I actually have a lot of vivid imagery and ideas

I’ve stowed away and am waiting for all of the kids to be out of the house, graduated and to be self sufficient so I don’t embarrass or cause potential employment problems for them.

Helping me to stay happily busy is knowing my work found a new home at my friend Katie Sevigny’s Studio in downtown Anchorage. The photo is one I took this fall of her storefront. It’s not that I didn’t have anywhere to go after Half Moon closed in Anchorage, I just wasn’t feeling the love anywhere like I do with Katie, she’s tallented, energetic and super friendly with all of her customers. I even have a commission (after day two in the Gallery!) from one of Katie’s customers for some Ravens. Rather than painting the Ravens as I normally do, the customer requested that the Ravens be heat treated, and I have to say I like the effect. I made two different wall sculptures, each about 4', one horizontal and one vertical that the customer can choose from. I’m also working on 3 pieces for the Artique Gallery “Here Comes Spring” garden themed group show, opening April 2. I’d like to have some of my pods turn out FAB so I can mix them with a little welded steel for that Show. We’ll see, I should be able to fire a ^6 load next week –I’m being really, really patient and letting the new round of pods and “Sedna” masks dry nice and s-l-o-o-o-w. The other fun projects I have on the production schedule are two pieces for the 3rd Annual Salvation Army "Transformed Treasures" event. This is a fundraiser where we “transform” items

we find at the Thrift Store into works of Art. The "Transformed Treasures" luncheon, silent and live auction will be May 1st 11:30 - 1:30. Tickets sell out quickly and are $30.00 per person or $300 for a table of ten. If your in town and interested, please call Diane at The Salvation Army 907-276-2515.

What’s fun about this event is the camaraderie and seeing all of the “before” pictures and “after” works of art. I'm easily inspired by the very ingenious people who participate. I’m showing you my “before” pictures of a wooden bank and a wonderful relief of St. Peter I bought at the Thrift Store for under $3. The wooden bank will become a bird house with welded steel topiary frame and St. Peter is going to be Transformed into an outdoor garden shed wall sculpture with welded vines and leaves and a rust patina. The best part about donating to this cause is there’s no chance of rejection!

6 comments:

Peter said...

Rejection is horrible isn't it! I don't do much TV these days, but... I had a tooth out this week, and on return home from the dental school vegetated for an hour in front of one of those reality tv cooking programmes, the sort where two teams of young hopeful contenders try to win the approval of some celebrity chef (who is usually brash, rude, and has no humanity). How there is much entertainment value in watching happy people being reduced to tears I don't know, but that seems to be the lot of those in the losing team, who are made to feel like "losers"! And maybe that is the problem with competitions of any kind, be they in sport, cooking, or art.. they seem designed to crush one side and set the winners up above everyone else (apart from the celebrity judges). Loss does hurt, and rejection does make one feel rejected. At the tender age of 51, I still haven't learned how to "shrug it off".

Those Ravens are lovely, and I think the customer is very lucky indeed!

Orion Designs said...

I have trouble with rejection too. That's why I'm not applying to the Crafts Weekend at the Museum this year. After 5 rejections, I just can't take it anymore. The waiting is almost as bad as the eventual rejection letter.

ang said...

i know all that grant stuff messes with ya head eh, just on that trail myself right now, pictures, gallery references,an epic tail of why pick me, man and 9 copies of application! your show pieces sound great was that the one last year you posted on? i vaguely remember some cool pics..

Linda Starr said...

Great ravens, they look great with the heat treatment. Good luck with the grants. I have some angry pieces I would like to make one of these days just need to scrape up the courage to put them out there one of these days. I remember the transformed treasures from last year, what a cool event.

cookingwithgas said...

who would not want you!!!!?????
I know, and it hurts so bad and then you have to just move on.
Your work blows me out of the water. I would be happy to be a fly on the wall in your studio and watch you work all day.

jimgottuso said...

love the ravens... as far as rejection, although i don't like to be rejected, i've come to compartmentalize it in a way that makes it easier to deal with. i've talked to jurors that i know personally and i think if artists knew what goes on behind the scenes and some of the criteria or agendas being served, they would feel less bad about it. even in a perfect world, the juror(s) is/are human which means they have their own set of faults, preferences, agendas, prejudices, etc. sometimes it seems like anyone would be just plain lucky to get through that gauntlet and survive. add to that that some people just don't like our work and we've got our work cut out for us.