Delta des Refuses Event

The Delta des Refuses event at the Laman Library – Argenta branch is a special exhibition showcase for artists who were not accepted into the 57th Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center (a vast majority of the works entered were passed over). This show is inspired by the original 1863 Salon des Refusés held in Paris. Featured artists included Manet, Cezanne, Pissarro, and many others who are now widely recognized as masters of their time.

I was one of the artists not accepted into the 57th Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. Typically, I would not feel the bitter rejection – I submit a lot of work to a lot things and get a lot of rejection letters and emails. However, when I found out that George Dombek was serving as the juror, I was disappointed. My grandmother was married to George Dombek’s brother for forty years. I have never met George that I can remember – it wasn’t like close family or anything – he most likely does not even know who I am. I didn’t become an artist because he was an artist or anything like that. But I thought that would be a kind of cool way to meet him (indirectly meet him), through him viewing my work. Alas, it is not our time yet to meet.

I submitted three paintings from my Romania painting series: Romania Hillside, Romania Poppy Field and Hillside, and Fairytale Romania.

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When I first received the invitation to the Delta des Refuses exhibition, I didn’t want to participate because I didn’t want my artist peers to know I had submitted and was not accepted. The more I thought about the exhibition however, the more I was encouraged that there was an opportunity to show my “rejected” work. I also was curious to see what other pieces and artists were rejected.

We went to the opening and there were so many people there. We even ran into some friends who were enjoying the art.

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The show will run through October 16, 2015 at the Laman Library – Argenta branch.

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Where do you show your work?

Person you meet: “What do you do?”
You: “I’m an artist”
Me: “I’m an artist.”

Person you meet: “What kind of art do you do?”
You: “Tells the person what kind of art you do.”
Me: “Mumble my way through this question spouting out oil paint, figures, and printmaking somewhere through the murk.”

Person you meet: “Do you show anywhere?” or “Where can I see your work?”
You: “Tells the person where they can see your work.”
Usually Me: “I have a website and I blog. I’m not showing anywhere. I’m not really selling anything. Translation – I make art and hide in my studio.”

“I also kiss baby feet”

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Today through the end of the year – Me: “I have a website and I blog. I also have some work up right now at the Arkansas Attorney General’s office downtown in the Two Towers Building.”

How did this happen? Did I get discovered through my website or blog? Was there someone going from door to door in my neighborhood looking for just the right art? Did I go from office to office with samples of my work to see if anyone was looking for my work? It all happened through the Arkansas Arts Council.

I am a member of the Arkansas Artist Registry, and so I get emails of opportunities to show, sell, to apply for grants and fellowship, and other artist things. The Arkansas Arts Council sent a call for submission: “The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office seeks submissions from the Arkansas Artist Registry artists for a revolving exhibition of selected works in the reception area of the Office, which is open to the public for meetings, conferences and other events.”  and this attachment

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I submitted and was selected! Laurie Jo helped me to hang the show.

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Art Competitions

One of the responsibilities I take on as an artist is competing.

Why do artist compete in art competitions? What, you mean besides the eternal glory! Many artists compete to win the prize, the glory, and recognition by an official art community. To get discovered. To be published. To slowly turn into a career artist. To make their artist CV more professional. To feed their personal needs for affirmation as an artist. To be a part of the art community. To experience the heights of glory and the lows of despair. I compete for most of these reasons as well. I have been a competing artist for 15 years.

What is the last competition you won? I was chosen for publication and exhibition in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Equinox April 2013 for “Large Canvas Figure Study.”  However, I did not win Best in Show.

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How does it feel to win? Winning is like a group hug! At first, it is great. I feel proud of myself, that I am accepted as an artist in that particular community. I feel like my art is really good, of course it won! This feeling dwindles with time. Other thoughts start to creep in, like, “the competition must have not been too great, that’s why I won” or “ya, I won, but it was only this small competition” and so on. By the end, I just put it on my CV and until I win the next competition, it was my little victory.

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Winning is like a group hug!

What is the last competition you lost? I participated in the Arkansas Arts Center “Face Off: A Portraiture Competition” 2014. I didn’t even make it past the first round. However, I did make it in the Sunday newspaper Arkansas Democrat Gazette!

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How does it feel to lose? I would love to say that I am a gracious loser and that I say things like , “There were so many talented artists competing, so I’m just thankful I got to be a part of this whole thing.” Instead of this ideal response, I sulk and leave and cry about how I’m a loser.

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What was the last competition you entered?  My most recent competition experience was the Individual Fellowship with the Arkansas Arts Council. I initially knew I would enter this competition because the prize is eternal glory in Arkansas and $4,000. I thought I would work on a series of gouache paintings to meet the requirements of “works on paper.”

Then I started thinking about how I didn’t win this competition the previous year. I had competed with my thesis work, and if my thesis work didn’t win, why would I expect some little gouache paintings to win.

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I got really discouraged and psyched myself out – not finishing any of the paintings I wanted to create – with this competition in mind. I just kept procrastinating and working on other things first. Eventually, the deadline was approaching the week of, and I just took the whole thing off of my to-do list. I decided I didn’t want to be stressed out and I didn’t want to deal with any more failures, etc. This was my attitude until the deadline day.

On the deadline day, I was feeling great – like God-inspired hope and joy. I thought, I can do this!

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This is how I felt on the inside – the day I entered the competition.

The thing is, I am an artist, so I have hundreds of pieces to pick from as well as already photographed and documented work on my hand dandy flash drive. All I had to do was put it together in a package for this competition.

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I put all of my materials in this envelope and decorated it!

So, I made a quick to-do list of everything I would need to do to enter this competition by lunch, and then I walked it over on my lunch break.

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It felt really good to enter the Individual Fellowship competition rather than accepting defeat!

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