Friday, February 26, 2010

Rejection from Momentum: An "Insider" Perspective on Jurying

Guest Blogger Candace Coker has served as the curatorial intern for Momentum OKC. After entering other juried shows and Momentum exhibitions (some of which she's gotten in and some not), she said she was impressed by the fairness she witnessed as the curators reviewed artwork for the show.  She also saw first hand some of the potential challenges of selecting artwork. 

Rejection is difficult. It could never be easy. What you thought was fabulous may not make the cut. What’s worse is having multiple entries turned away. I encourage not to give up – this is merely an opinion and more importantly, a chance for improvement.

When presented with rejection, which is often very disheartening if you let it be, it is easy to wonder… why does that one artist, whose name you see everywhere, always, always seem to get into every single show? …you might wonder perhaps he/she gets into such shows based on who they are rather than their artwork… I have to tell you that is completely untrue.

On Monday, I was lucky enough to observe and assist with the jury process for the upcoming Momentum OKC. Jurying is NOT an easy task and I bow down to the curators who diligently sort through the artwork with a clear mind. Not once was the decision of whether or not art should hang in the show influenced in any way by the name of its creator. Not once. Artwork by my peers, whom are perhaps well-recognized among us and show their artwork regularly, was critiqued just as strictly as any other artwork in the group. The art speaks for itself. Names are not included.

Realize every part of your artwork needs to come together to make the final presentation successful. Why are you displaying your art in such a way? Is it the best way it could be displayed? Is the final piece neatly presented or still a bit sloppy? Could it be improved? Is your idea well executed? Even a good idea or good technique presented poorly or in a sloppy way can ruin your chances entirely.

Rejection is not easy. It certainly isn't fun. Take this chance to move forward, evaluate and improve your artwork. Go to the show and look closely at the accepted artwork. Listen to the curators talk about the show. Ask yourself what the good qualities are of the art in the show. Everyone, yes, everyone gets a rejection letter at some point in our artistic careers. Most of all: do not give up. Try and try again.

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