Last week, I had an important presentation for an art opportunity. Couldn’t help but reminisce about all the “opportunities” applied to over the years. Some were big (that weren’t) and others dismissed not understanding their importance. Oh, how time and grey hair makes judgment more meaningful!
As a result, wanted to take a trip down memory lane through my rejection letter binders. Some might think this is twisted, weird, or strange but I considered it an exercise in building character. Life is built on layers of “good” and “bad” experiences. Acceptance of this premise helps me stay rooted in reality.
In 2007, I received a phone call from Ivan C. Karp from OK Harris Works of Art in New York City. He had received my submission, told me to invite him to my first solo show in NYC, and to keep sending out packets. Mr. Karp had called at a time when I felt like giving up. He gave me the push to keep on. Unfortunately, he died in 2012 and his gallery recently closed. In November, I’ll be inducted as a new member in the National Association of Women Artists at the Rubin Museum in New York City. I’ll be thinking of that phone call that day.
As of today, 1,311 submissions have been applied to since 2002. More than just a number, it represents the time, sacrifice, and commitment being an artist. It’s quite amazing to think what the next 1,311 submissions will look like. How old will I be then? What will be different and the same? Answers that only time can answer. No rejection is negative; it’s a sign of forward progress…