Thursday, October 11, 2012
South Carolina Artisans Center
Last year someone suggested I look at getting some of my work into the SC Artisans Center. As always, I lolly gagged around. Finally, I called them in September (of last year) only to learn they have a "Call for Entries" once a year, which is in August. But, the friendly lady said she would add my name to the list and they would send me a post card next summer reminding me of the date.
A post card? Who sends post cards? No email? No, she explained, we use post cards. September became April and sure enough in the first of the summer I got my "Post Card" informing me of where I could go on their website for further details of how to submit my work. The final date was August 24, which at that time was a long way off. I pulled up the rules and regulations.
Over the next few weeks, I selected a group of photos that I thought best reflected my work, but more importantly, would best impress the judges. They had a two step process. You submitted 5 pieces in August and they were judged (or juried) by 3 out of state judges. Then on September 20, those who had been selected (or juried in) by the out of state panel were notified that they were invited to present their work to an in state panel at the Artisans Center in October for the final round of judging. ie One just didn't show up in Walterboro with a box of photos and get to hang them up, you had to be selected.
I winnowed my selections down to 7 or 8 and figured I would make up my mind in August. All the while going back and forth over which photos to select. I enlisted my family to help. And, my choices changed daily.
Then the summer took a life of its own. One thing led to another. Mama went into the hospital. Then her condition became critical. I never even thought about photography. On August 22, I happened to be at my desk checking my email, when I saw the postcard from the center laying there. Oh dear God, had I missed the deadline? Long story, short I had not. I hurriedly made my selections (no time to ponder anything then) and submitted them electronically. As it was, Mama died on the 23rd, so it was just luck I made the deadline.
The rules plainly stated everyone who was juried in would be notified by mail on September 20. Well September 20 came and went - no letter. Then on the 25th, a letter arrived saying that I had been juried in and that I needed to bring my work, as well as some inventory to the center on October 11th for the final judging. The judging would be during the middle of the day. The winners would be announced at 3pm, then the paperwork to have your work put in the center would be done followed by a reception for the artists, their friends and family, as well as patrons of the center.
The 11th was on a Thursday. Who can spend a Thursday waiting to see if you have been selected or not. And, does that mean if you are not selected, you just pick up your work, crawl back to your car and slink back home, while the winners carry forth in merriment? Hopefully, if you are not selected they have the courtesy to have a back door from which you can exit quietly.
Well, today is the day of reckoning. My photography goes before the second panel. I get to spend the better part of the morning wondering what three critics think of my work. One thing is for sure. By this evening, I will either be an artist accepted at the SC Artisans Center or back home with my tail between my legs pretending it never happened.