One of the downsides of being an artist is having at sometime or another, your work refused for an art award or an exhibition.

You have worked so hard for a long time to produce a painting that you think is quite special and enter it for an art prize only to receive a letter stating that your work has not been accepted. Call it what you like, it’s a rejection. You have failed to meet the selectors’ criteria. All is lost, you feel depressed, even angry.

But does it have to end this way? There are many factors to consider.

Firstly, you should be congratulated for having a go in the first place. Deciding to enter an art prize is a big deal. You are taking a risk, but at the same time you are challenging yourself to produce something extraordinary to qualify. Art can be a real gamble sometimes, but unless we take risks how can we improve?

Secondly, just because a group of art judges decide against exhibiting your work doesn’t mean it’s rubbish. Never take such a decision personally.

Thirdly, the amount of entries maybe so numerous and  high that you aren’t up to the standard that is set for that particular year.

Fourthly, you may have chosen the wrong subject to paint. It’s very important to ‘study’ the history of the award you wish to enter and carefully read the stated criteria.

Those who don’t make mistakes don’t do anything!

Well done for trying, but do try again, sometime!

I missed out again on being a finalist in this year’s Glover Prize. I must admit that I was a little depressed, but I am a finalist in an exhibition in Hobart this coming weekend and the other day I was invited to be the guest artist at an exhibition in Burnie, in May.

Swings and roundabouts!


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. An fascinating discussion is value comment. I believe that you must write more on this matter, it won’t be a taboo subject however generally people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  2. Gillian says:

    Very wise words, Richard. You may have heard of the Summer Exhibition by the Royal Institute in London and I think it’s very telling that the most popular work is exhibited at another venue, for those who’ve had their work rejected.
    Whilst the pompous pontificate about the Emporer’s new clothes, the general public go elsewhere and spend their money!

    Well done for staying so grounded about the whole thing.

    Btw, I’ve never even tried to enter a show – they have such exacting standards!

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