My first refusal letter…with a twist!


The wait is over…

The results from my first juried Art Gallery submission are back and if you go by the title of this post, you already know that I was not excepted. It was, however, a very nice refusal letter.

“Hello Jodie,

Thank you so much for sharing your work with our Gallery Shop Jury. It was a pleasure seeing your work in person, and the jury was impressed with its uniqueness and your incredible skill!

While your work was not selected to sell in the shop right now, the jury wondered if you might be interested in appearing as a guest artist in our Winter Gift Gallery.  Winter Gift Gallery is a holiday show and sale of works from local artists, which runs from November 13 – December 23. You could show a collection of work including some variety in size and price. We always aim to have new and exciting work in the Winter Gift Gallery and are able to offer exhibiting artists a bit more space than what we are able to accommodate in the shop. We think you would make an excellent addition to the Winter Gift Gallery if you choose to participate.”

Nice, right? As far as refusal letters go, it is a pretty nice one…but it’s still a refusal letter and in the end says the same thing: Sorry!

Now I can process this in a couple different ways…

a)  My Ego can get involved and become offended and defensive, ‘Well then if I’m so “skilled” why did you say “no”? Obviously, you people don’t know what you’re doing!’ The Ego’s job is to make itself right by making others wrong.



b)  My fear-based thoughts can take control and I could spiral down into self-loathing, ‘I knew it, you have made a fool of us, why did you even bother? You will never be good enough to be accepted into anything!’ Fear and shame can cripple the creative process completely.

c) I can see this as an opportunity to learn, take what I can from it, and move on.

I have chosen the latter.  I am grateful for all the things I have had to learn to complete this project, all of which I will use again. I have learned: how to create a digital portfolio, how to write an artist statement and bio, and how to write product descriptions and decide on pricing. I had to consider why I do what I do, which in turn brought into clearer focus who I am as an artist. My computer skills have improved, as have my photography skills. I have also learned to be patient with myself and to accept my limitations as well as to acknowledge my strengths. I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and came out on the other side with a bit of new found courage.


All in all, it has been a very useful and rewarding experience, one that I am glad that I devoted my time and energy. I have to admit though, that the “twist” (Winter Gift Gallery invite) has made the initial “No” easier to digest, but that is for a later post.



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