Showing posts with label submissions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label submissions. Show all posts

May 12, 2016

Best Rejection Letter

paintings included in my application: "Green couch #1"
Nobody likes getting rejection letters. Most artists like me spend a fair amount of time in search of good opportunities, filling out applications and grant proposals on a regular basis. Some you get but most you don't. I've gotten used to the rejection letters but it's still disappointing no matter how you look at it.

There's always that brief moment of optimism when you realize the organization you sent an application to 6 months ago, and that you totally forgot all about, is finally getting back to you. Some of these letters are quick and to the point and when I ran my gallery I always tried to do that, but some are so long and drawn out, it's torturous. Paragraphs and paragraphs about the uncommonly large number of applicants this year and how great it is that you're pursuing your art career and how great they are for providing such wonderful funding for the arts, etc. etc.

I'm at the point where I don't read it. My eyes quickly scan for that one word that says it all. Once I see the word then I go back and actually read the whole letter.  
The word, of course, is unfortunately. 

This morning I got a rejection email (even worse than a letter) that didn't get to the point until four paragraphs down. Finally there it was:

 "Green couch #2"
"Unfortunately, we are not able to fund your application, but we want you to know that we are inspired by your commitment to your craft and by the sacrifices you're making to pursue it."



Okay so we've all been there, done that, but here's the prize at the bottom of the cereal box, they actually gave me feedback! That hardly ever happens, on top of which I thought it was pretty good feedback. Six paragraphs down it said:

Our jurors are invited to provide feedback about the applications they review. We wanted to share the following:
"Intelligent, muscular contemporary abstracts that have the flow of de Kooning combined with the chunky organic expressionism of Philip Guston!"

"I see a great dedication in your studio practice. There is a long standing investigation one can see in your works. I'm curious to see where it goes."

Samantha Palmeri painting
"Green couch #3"

I mean, I'd rather have gotten the $6,000. Frankly if I'm painting anything close to de Kooning and Guston shouldn't I have gotten the grant?

You can never figure these things out but needless to say  
this might be my favorite rejection letter of all time.
This one I'm keeping!





December 21, 2015

Are You Ready

In wishing you all A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
I will just say that I am very happy to be looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past, and I am t h r i l l e d to never have to write 2015 ever again. I'm definitely ready for a new year!

I just came across a statement written by Robert C. Morgan circa 1997, about a year or so after I took a memorable class with him at SVA. It oddly does not feel in any way dated by 18 years:

"In today's art world there is a certain price to be paid by any artist who chooses to follow an inner-directed position as opposed to the consensual signs of an external discourse. Most often, it is the latter option which has become symptomatic of the critical and curatorial establishment. In a highly pragmatic culture, fashion and science are still the ultimate models upon which success is measured and understood. These models are predictably mediated by public consensus- the harbinger of neutralized taste."

It makes me wonder if I should be down right grateful that the last five applications I submitted to show my work were all rejected. How does an artist know if their work is just plain awful or just way too interesting and idiosyncratic for the public's 'neutralized taste'?

New Year's Resolution #1: I am going to pretend to not care and keep working regardless.
New Year's Resolution #2: I will send out fifty submissions this year so at least the rejection percentages will be more balanced out.

Cheers everyone!