This is a tough thing. Many people I know may not be in the show. I am always happy to see friends selected -- but there are some who are not and, well...that is just the way it is. No one is in every show that they enter -- there are times that you just don't make it in.
This morning I received an email from an entrant -- subject line: Exhibition Rejection. Immediately I thought -- uh oh. It was from someone who had never entered before this year. When I opened the email I was greeted by, "Thanks for letting me know about the rejection. I won't be entering in the future."
So then I thought -- I have not blogged in a while -- and this is a great topic.
What do I think is the best thing to take away from entering juried shows? I think the best thing is to learn how to handle rejection. As an artist you will experience it at some time -- and some time again. How you handle it may influence how often you will revisit it. No one likes to get that letter/email that essentially says, thanks for playing, come to the reception and see what beat you out to hang on the wall. OK -- it doesn't really say that. And for a long time I did not get the rejection letter. Boy, when I got one -- it was a wake up.
You need to stop, think, perhaps reevaluate. I do know of photos out there -- and my most well-known image -- the serendipitous snake -- is a great example. That photo has not been accepted in every show it was entered. It has received rejections. In that case, I understood it was a strong image -- but maybe not everyone agrees or it does not fit in every show. The same photo has taken first place in other exhibits and is part of a permanent collection. Shows can only accommodate so many photos -- and great shots don't make it in.
I suppose if you can only accept positive critique or feedback -- you need to just show your photos to your mother. But if you would like to improve, network, get things out there -- enter a juried show, sign up for a portfolio review, submit images to galleries and magazines.