One week, three rejections!
As I've mentioned before, I've been sending out many, many, many applications for shows, contests, galleries, etc. After the first round, I received 3 immediate acceptances and was thrilled! They were for radius 250 at Artspace here in Richmond and 2 national shows in Fredericksburg, VA. I won 2nd prize at one of the F'burg shows. Those were thrilling!
I got more ambitious and sent work in to Artist's Magazine and Utrecht's, both of which have national competitions for all the readers of their magazines/customers of their art supplies. No word back = no thanks. Darn!
I also applied to a couple of shows nationally, one in Charleston, REDUX. They got 364 applications for 2 shows. I wasn't one of the ones they chose. The other was Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville. They also had a huge number of applications for very few shows. I put myself out there. It'll pay off - I won't get any shows if I don't try - but it is a bit discouraging to get these letters!
I have applied to several galleries here in town lately as well. One gallery owner liked my work a lot but said she doesn't show nudes. She likes them a lot but feels that they are somewhat invasive so doesn't show them in her gallery, though she owns some herself. Another owner liked my work very much, loved my energy, loves my message but doesn't want to show my work at his gallery. He said the work is a bit too challenging. I asked what he meant by that - it's so helpful for me to hear what gallery owners think. He wrote back: "The challenge to your work is that it commands the viewer to get past their first impression and art buyers seldom do that. Art connoisseurs will get it and love what you do but there's a smaller segment of our market buyers that we feel will get it. Does that make sense?"
I'm intrigued by the distinction between art buyers and art connoisseurs. I've been thinking about it a lot since I got his note. I can see that Richmond might be a challenging market for my work since the buyers here generally go for landscapes or mild abstracts or still lifes - pieces that match the decor and are lovely to look at. I get that my work is harder to be with, more "invasive". I find it beautiful, but then I'm the one making it!
On the positive side, I've gotten several emails out of the blue lately from people who stumbled upon either my blog or website. They felt moved enough by my work to email me to tell me how much they liked it. One woman was kind enough to write, "I just got so excited when I saw your work this morning I couldn't help myself. Your colors! the light, the bodies, the beaches ... it's all so ... well, I just connected with it. Somehow, I was just supposed to see it this morning ~ and it made my day." Thanks, new friend! You made my day!
Last night I sent out an application for the Extraordinary Women's Luncheon here in Richmond. 4 times/year they choose a woman from the community to honor. At the luncheon to honor the woman, they give away a poster which has art by a local artist on it. The artist has the opportunity to talk about her work at the luncheon. The art is supposed to honor women in some way. Well, heck! My work definitely does that! I sent two pictures for them to consider: The Dancer at 89 and Bling Lady. I don't know if they want naked women on their poster, but I hope they will! I think it would be VERY cool!
I'm going to take the next couple of weeks to journal and meditate and try to discern the next steps I should be taking. I am unclear as to the next right step. I have asked for guidance and figure it'll be forthcoming since it always is when I ask! I'll keep you informed when the good news starts flowing in!