Friday, December 18, 2009

How would you like your rejection?

I can't decide what kind of rejection I like the best; an email message or the kind that comes back in the S.A.S.E dutifully included in the application.

I suspect the email version will become the new standard, as everything moves online. I do like how much easier it is on the application side, but after waiting forever to get a response, it's somehow more satisfying to open an envelope, see the nice thick paper with the rejector's letterhead, throw it aside, then retrieve it to add to the file of rejection letters. So what do I do now — print my rejection emails to add to my file? 

That would be silly. I think I will.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this because I got two email rejections in two days. The first was...sniff...the Denali artist residency (I don't really cry on my emails—it's not good for the keyboard).  In previous postal rejections I've had little notes slipped inside telling me how close I came, and to try again. This email began with "Thank you for applying..." Always a very bad sign. Then came the standard Don't-Feel-Too-Bad tag line... "We had many strong applications from all over the U.S. and abroad, making this year’s selection especially difficult." So after thinking I was ALMOST heading north for the last few application cycles, I'm now feeling Denali is further away than ever.

The second rejection was from a local group show, no big deal really, but it's a place I always feel a bit surprised to be rejected from.

But I still have my show at Bert coming up next month, and yesterday I was contacted out of the blue about another exhibit opportunity. More on both of those later...


  1. Kathy- I think you should just go to Denali and paint. As for the local group show ( I can only guess which it is) I know how it feels to get a rejection. I almost never enter shows like that anymore.

  2. Their next call is for work that is either really big or really small. Fortunately, I don't think I have any work that qualifies...

  3. Sorry to hear about Denali -- I'm shocked that you didn't get accepted. That's just too weird. So you can't take it seriously -- someone went off the rails on that decision.

    Rejections in general -- well, you are right about the decisions to make about emails --printing them out seems a bit -- well -- obsessive. But then do you save them in a file on the computer that looks at you every day? Somehow the hanging files are less obvious.

    With as many rejections as I have, you'd think I would have sorted all this out

    Have a fine 2010 -- sounds like you are off and running regardless. I'm still stretching my big canvases (and cussing as I do so).

  4. Thanks, June, for thinking it's weird. I've gotten so many over the years I brush most of them off right away, a few bug me for about a week, that's it. Fattening up my file of rejection letters is somehow satisfying though.
    Good luck stretching the canvas, it's a job all right! I hope you can exhibit them as a group, it will be stunning.
    Hope your new year is full of exploring, and paint!


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