In our professional lives, we’re all very used to validation. Some of us seek it! Are we doing the right deals? Making our sales numbers? Accumulating our billable hours? We stress about annual performance reviews because it’s positive feedback — often with “constructive criticism”, but whatever. (Another post about how terrible leaders rely on performance reviews killing good talent and what they’re getting from people in the process.)
How do those of us amateurs who create art get our validation? Certainly, selling a piece would be a great affirmation, but in the near term, many of us turn to juried shows. For some in Indiana, it’s the annual Hoosier Salon juried show, and for others, it’s the Indianapolis Arts Center Annual Student Show. (This year is the 80th!)
The show is open to any current or past students from the IAC and can include work created either in an IAC class or independently. Artists may submit all media from 2-D to glass and metal sculpture. This year’s jury includes Indianapolis’ Benny Sanders (one of my favorites), metal and jewelry designer Rebecca Zink, and Terre Haute-based sculptor and multi-media artist Emily Bennett. It’s a competitive show with generally only 15-20% overall entries accepted in beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional, and youth categories.
I have to admit, I have tried to learn that you treat juries as imperfect validators. They may or may not be judging your work on its merit depending on if they have a vision for the show. Each year, I submit. Some years I do better than others. Often I’m surprised — sometimes pleasantly, sometimes unpleasantly. Either way, I continue to seek validation for art and hope the jury is kind this year. The day the paperwork arrives and I resolutely write down titles, media, and even prices (why not! Buy one!) is a banner day for me. Is it a sum of my year’s artistic achievement just to submit? Sure! But, right or wrong, I consider it a special personal validation to be selected. So, wish me luck.
Entry forms are available online with submissions due Thursday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Dec 1, 2017 at the Indianapolis Arts Center. A juror presentation and Q&A is Thursday, Nov 9, at 7 p.m.