Monday, November 14, 2005

Four for Monday...

First, a letter from a competition to have included in a university's permanent on-campus collection:
“Dear Suzanne,

Thank you for submitting sample of your work for our University’s 2005 Art on Campus Competition. Although we’re offering the awards to other artists, we want you to know that the Visual Arts Committee was very impressed by your work. We received substantially more submission than we anticipated, and the quality of the submissions was especially high this year. We encourage you to try again in future competitions. Our committee annually makes an effort to obtain both interior and exterior works for the campus. Please visit our website for current competitions.


Person in Charge”

One from a foundation where I sent a grant application to (my first grant application):
“Dear Artist,

On Behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for submitting your art/craft project to the foundation.

The members of the Board regret that they are unable to fund your project. A panel of judges gave serious consideration to the many worthy applications. They reported that choosing among the applications was particularly difficult because of the high quality of the projects submitted.


Form Letter Producer”

One from an exhibition proposal I sent to a Museum:
“Dear Suzanne,

Thank you for submitting your exhibition proposal to the Arts Council. As the primary arts center for our region, we receive a tremendous number of requests from artists to exhibit in our galleries. A select review panel reviews all applications under rigorous standards that must be balanced with our limited gallery space and exhibition calendar. The panel appreciates the presentation that you have provided us; however, your proposal was not selected.

Again, thank you very much for your interest in exhibiting your work at this museum.


The Curator”

And Finally, one from a commercial art gallery, hand written on my original cover letter to them:

Thank you for sending your very professional packet! We have such an unusual market and client base here. Unfortunately, we are not a match.

Best of luck in finding.

-Gallery Owner”

It should be noted that all four of these arrived today, and that on this same day I was also offered a second exhibition for February. Sometimes things just happen this way.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My First Exhibition Proposal - Rejected

I received a letter last week from a really exciting space that would have been lovely to get into. I found that they were accepting exhibition proposals for 2006-07 and I really wanted to get in on the action. Being that it was my first try and assembling something like this I called the space and asked a few questions to clarify what exactly they would prefer to have included. Confident that I could properly express my potential I set out to get the packet together.

I knew I was at a bit of a strange phase with my current body of work (only having a handful of pieces), but I felt like if I didn't submit my work it would be a bigger mistake than not having all the pieces done that I'd like.

I gave the stuffed envelope a big squeeze and wished it luck before sending it off to North Carolina.

A handful of months passed and it crossed my mind that I might be hearing from them soon. I swung by my PO box and sure enough, there was an envelope from them, stuffed to the gills (not a good sign).

"Dear Suzanne,

Thank you for submitting your proposal for review. We appreciate your dedication to your work and your interest in exhibiting here.

We had an extremely difficult time making a decision. We received nearly two hundred submissions and have just a few open slots to fill per year. We regret that we were unable to offer you an opportunity to exhibit at this time. Enclosed you will find your materials.

Please keep up with us and do consider submitting a proposal for our next call.


The Director of Programs & Exhibitions"

Well, I slipped my materials out of the envelope after reading the letter. My stomach sank as I saw the slides I had selected to send for review. What in the world was I thinking?? I'm glad I took the chance, but the next time around I know that I will be much better prepared to REALLY show my work. Since then I've completed over ten more paintings and the series is much more cohesive. Next time...