Wednesday, September 1, 2010

tough curation...

So finally, finally after much debate and inner dialogue and tough decisions the artists for the exhibit at the Textile Arts Center have been chosen. This was by far the most difficult curation I have had to do...

partially because it is a huge show and will hopefully get tons of attention but that also means the pressure is on for me to do an amazing job. This show is an opportunity to get my name out there as a curator and that is awesome but it also makes me feel like it has to be a blow out show. So my fingers are crossed that it will all come together as I would like.

In addition I had a HUGE number of applicants to choose from and with space limitations and the fact that 2 of the works selected are 16 ft long my decision process was so hard. So much good work to choose from and only so many walls to fill. I could have easily made the show twice as big and just as good or made just a quilt show!!!

And lastly this call really got out there much more than previous calls. Which means people that do not know me or my work at all applied. So that meant I had a huge variation in the work submitted and plenty of it outside of my normal aesthetic. In some ways this was great as I chose some unexpected work and got exposed to so many fabulous artists. But it also made the final curation more difficult as I had the challenge of how do I exhibit such varied work but still keep a cohesive thread through the entire exhibit.

And weirdly, this call was the first time I had to face the nastiness of some artists. I had a number of people that got quite offended and down right nasty that I did not select them. I was shocked mainly for the obvious reason of the fact that I find this to be TOTALLY unprofessional and silly. But it also was confusing to me, I mean I clearly understand that when I apply for an exhibit I may not be selected and about as often as I am I am not. This is part if the experience of being an artist. Curators have a vision and regardless of the quality of your work you may or may not fit into this vision. So the nasty people were a little hard to swallow but luckily it was made up for by the MANY kind emails from other artists that I very much hope to work with in the future. There was just so many amazing pieces submitted it was overwhelming.

So keep checking in for more details on the show and mark your calenders for September 17th for the opening. Hope to see you there!!!


amy said...

No one ever enjoys the email or form that comes to you saying you're not going to be part of a show. I take a deep breath before I open them, mutter the tired ole "I'm ok with my work no matter what it says" mantra, get a little burning feeling behind my eyes. I've had the happy notifications and the unhappy ones-in this case, an unhappy one, for me. But it's just part of the risk of putting yourself out there-and a microcosm of life in general. Some stuff you get, some stuff you don't. If you're doing it right-putting yourself wholeheartedly and completely into your work, you run the risk of it stinging more than anything else, but what's the alternative? I actually didn't know that people email now and give curators what-for. Ugh. I'm so sorry that you had to experience that.

corrine aka jafabrit said...

I don't envy you, it's really a difficult task. I have faced those nasty artists in a similar capacity.
Sorry you had to go through that.
What many don't seem to understand is that sometimes you are not chosen for lack of good work, but because it may not work with the overall theme, or it doesn't fit with the rest of the pieces chosen already. The art world is a small world and burning one's bridges is NOT smart professionally, espcially if one gets the reputation of being a pouting huffy nasty artist.

This sounds like it will be an awesome exhibit and I look forward to seeing the work.

all the best Joetta

Liz Noonan said...

eek! really? nasty people? not nice and not smart! everyone gets rejected, it's part of being and artist, sheesh!
can't wait to see all the work you have chosen and am glad you got out of your comfort zone :-)

Jennifer Hunold said...

I'm so sorry you had people write you nasty comments--too often people in positions like yours, or of authority, become the victims of people's growing frustrations that are certainly from more than just a "no" from an exhibition (like joblessness, and so on).

My approach has always been to not ever expect to be curated into an exhibition, that way every time is a huge surprise and thrill, and every time I'm not put in, I'm not disappointed and I go make my work less affected. In this case, I was elated. Thank you for that. I cannot wait to see the next show you curate with work that didn't get placed in this show! I know it will be amazing! :-)

See you the 17th!

Joetta M. said...

thank you so much for your support and comments. And yes it is the price you pay as a curator and organizer I suppose. But it is so good to know that there are so many amazing and kind artists out there too:)