Why It’s Called “Submitting”

It takes courage to submit artwork to a show. First, in order to select your best work, you must become objective about it, admitting that it’s not all your best stuff. That’s humbling. And educational.

Then you have to follow the rules (easier for some of us than for others) and meet a deadline (again, easier for some than for those of us used to working at our own pace, according to no particular schedule).

And we must, figuratively speaking, prepare to shove our fledglings out of the nest. Have they learned their manners? Are they appropriately dressed? Will they get along well with their peers? Can they hold their own in society, or even make a name for themselves?… It’s not that easy to let go!

You must name a price for your artwork. But how do you assign a monetary value to effort, experience, materials, and … (admit it) emotional ties? You may start by setting a price in the stratosphere … but then you have to get real, ignore the emotional ties, and base it instead on practicality and your pre-established pricing guidelines.

And then you relinquish control.

Subsequent rejection is humbling once again. Acceptance is gratifying but not entirely empowering. You still have no control over how your work will be handled, how effectively it will be displayed, or in what company it stands. You have learned to submit. It isn’t easy. … But sometimes it pays off.

120501 Jamaican Hat Vendor

“Jamaican Hat Vendor,” (#120501) one of my three submitted pieces, was accepted for the 2013 National Faces and Figures Exhibition, sponsored by and located at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. The exhibition is running from February 2 through March 8, 2013. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll drop by to see it in person.

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