In June, I had my first piece accepted into a juried show. This piece (Footnoote to Howl I, pictured above) went on to win Second Place in the exhibition. Yay! You might be thinking, Emily has been making art for a long time. Why is she just now showing work in a juried show? You probably aren't thinking that, because you, strange internet person, are not judgy and negative. But I think about my own professional, artistic delays all the time. Here's why it took me awhile.
There are all of these little steps in the process of having a piece in a show, all more nerve-wracking than the last, all seemingly insignificant and somehow insurmountably important. Artist Statements to revise, CVs to update, packaging to craft, pricing to decide, return shipment labels to buy. I knew how to do none of those things--they didn't teach the business aspects of art in my college program (but I painted a lot of fruit bowls). None of these tasks take that much time, expertise, or focus, and yet each one became convenient excuses for me to not submit to calls for entry (this is where galleries/cities/whatever put out a call so that artists can submit their art/ideas to the concept/show). Before even looking at open calls, I would think if I'm accepted, I don't even know how to build the right size box to send in my piece. I just shouldn't apply. My artist statement never feels quite right, and I can't enter until it feels perfect. It's always nice to see my ol' pals, "Fear of Rejection" and "Fear of Failure," coming back for a visit.
Recently I started telling the fear to get lost, and I applied to calls for the first time. One of my new works was accepted into Contemporary 2019: Contemporary Figure at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. Yay! I jumped up and down like an idiot when I got the acceptance email.