{Art} They said no

Interlude | Kimberly Kalil Designs

All work represented by the gallery is juried for appropriateness based upon: quality, subject matter, critical relevance, marketability, professionalism and an artist’s career development with relation to the particular needs of the gallery at any given time. There are very limited numbers of new artists we can accommodate each season out of a large body of submissions we receive. Unfortunately, your work has not been selected for this particular exhibition.

I did a big, brave thing last month, but didn’t get what I wanted from it.

Unfortunately, your work has not been selected for this particular exhibition.

I applied to my very first art show. I spent most of my free time finish up paintings, photographing my work, editing photos, creating a portfolio and writing an artist statement. It was my personal focus for January.

Guess what? They said no. Yep. They didn’t like my art. Or it wasn’t good enough. Or it didn’t work for that show. Whatever it was, they said no. And I was sad. Really, really sad.

Unfortunately, your work has not been selected for this particular exhibition.

It sucks. Like seriously sucks. But, it’s not the end of the world, right? For a little bit, it felt like the end of the world. For a little bit, I didn’t want to ever submit my art to shows again. For a moment, I felt like a total failure. For a moment, I felt like everything I create is terrible and ugly. Thankfully, that moment passed. 

Setting certain expectations inevitably means there is a chance you’ll be disappointed. I definitely had some very specific expectations and they weren’t totally realistic. I’m a new artist (though not young) and there are going to be many shows I apply to that tell me no. 

Even as disappointing as this was, this whole process did teach me a lot. I learned just how much work is involved with submitting to a show: creating the art, photographing the art, creating a portfolio, and writing an artist statement. There was a lot of shit to do and I got it done. The sense of accomplishment alone was worth the process. 

This experience reminded me how important planning is. I had to figure out everything I needed to do before the submission date and then break it down into small, manageable pieces. 

This experience also reminded me brave and bold I can be. Submitting to a major art show for the first time at 42 is kind of big deal, espeally since I’ve only dabbled in art as an “amateur” up until now.  

Unfortunately, your work has not been selected for this particular exhibition.

I’ll try again.

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One Response to {Art} They said no

  1. Grace says:

    It’s an awful feeling yes but what an accomplishment, to have all that prep (cause that is some serious work!) behind you ready for the next submission. I submitted work for art quilt shows way back when and the no’s I received devastated me. But the few yes invites were like manna from heaven. Keep going Kim. Don’t stop.

    Btw…totally loving your watercolors I’m seeing in insta!

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