In October, the body of work I am still in the process of producing, will be exhibited at Talento Bilingue de Houston - TBH Center, near downtown Houston. The exhibit will be on display through December of 2012. Recently, when the open call went out to artists within a 100 mile radius of Lawndale Art Center, in Houston, Texas, I decided to enter 3 pieces from this series in the attempt to get into this show. Fortunately, one piece was accepted - Room Service, oil on wood, 36"x 48". I am still floating from this experience.
I am always overjoyed to know one of my pieces has been accepted into a juried show, and this particular show, so named The Big Show, is especially difficult to get into. I had a piece in the 2009 Big Show, but this was after years of rejection, not to forget a few years of rejection in between then and now. Rejection comes with the territory of pursuing one's own idea of success.
It is always a crap-shoot getting into a juried show. Most artists know this, whether their work is worthy or not, this does not necessarily make for the deciding factor. It is the juror who makes the choice, perhaps regarding talent, use of media, overall composition, genre, execution or technique, originality, color or lack thereof, story, message or general feeling evoked from a piece or installation. It is not personal when it comes to who the artist is, but the decision is a personal choice made by the juror. It is a subjective decision.
This year, 915 pieces of art came through Lawndale's doors during the two day drop off. Only 69 were chosen to be in the show. Now the odds get even more interesting if you happen to be one of the lucky winners (6 in all) who each received a $500 reward. I like how the juror, Marco Antonini, Gallery Director of NURTUREart, Brooklyn, NY, decided to divide the $3000 prize money. No 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, instead, all of equal status… nice and sweet. After all, it has always puzzled me to imagine how a juror chooses the supposed "best piece" from all the apples, oranges and bananas. How do you compare art to find the best one, when all are so vastly different? Often, the choice isn't about "best", but more about the "favorite".
To add more joy to my experience, my piece in this show was featured in two local journals - Culture Map and Houston Press. However, I think that the best part was the response from my friends and fellow artists. It is amazing to have this kind of encouragement and support, and truly helps me to continue creating this body of work, now looking forward to its solo exhibition in October!
I must add a big "Thank You" to the staff and all the volunteers of Lawndale Art Center. This art space has always had a fond spot in my heart. The Big Show is a perfect combination of a huge undertaking and an excellent opportunity for artists!