I recently read an account by a fellow blogger (see gypsy-heart’s January 14th post www.island11.wordpress.com) of how she entered an art show with two pieces and not only had both accepted, but won an award with one of them. Her story takes an amusing turn when she loses her keys while going out the door to attend the reception. At any rate, it reminded me of a show I entered once back in Nashville before I moved here to California.
I was the President of the Tennessee Art League in 2000 and was a painting instructor at the esteemed Cheekwood Frist Center for the Arts. The Art League hosts several shows a year, and that year I entered the following piece:
As President, I made it my mission on earth to see to it that all of my students from Cheekwood join the Art League and take advantage of the many benefits we had to offer. I was quite good at recruiting and swelling the ranks beyond 350 members. When it came time to enter the yearly juried membership show, a number of my students dutifully entered their pieces, some of which they had produced in my class. I was very proud to see their paintings lining the walls of the gallery the day of the drop off when I took my own work in to be juried as well.
The day came to check the list for who got juried in, and who, you guessed it, got juried out. That would be ME the teacher of the STUDENTS. It didn’t stop there, no. Several of my students went on to win awards. Didn’t stop there either. I, me, the President of the Tennessee Art League, was the presenter of the awards. I just decided to embrace the moment and teach the students one more lesson about dignity, being a graceful loser, and understanding that rejection was a part of life for the working artist. After delivering my impassioned speech at the reception I turned to my Vice President, clutched her lapels and feigned sobbing. In the end, the laugh I got was well worth the rejection of my piece.