CPS Studios-Summer 2010

MN Women's Press-Oct 09



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Once A Year...


Every year around this time I get excited and more than a little anxious about my State Fair entry for the Fine Arts competition. The Minnesota State Fair hosts a Fine Arts competition each year. The Fine Arts division has their very own building where the exhibit is housed each year. It's been my dream for a number of years to get in this show.

But honestly, it's not an easy show to get in. Competition is stiff (there is no jury fee and anyone from Minnesota can enter).  They tend to select more pieces with a Minnesota or State Fair "flavor", so my work isn't an automatic fit, but what can it hurt to try...right?

This year the jury process has changed a bit. In the past, all work (you are allowed to enter only one piece) had to be brought in to be juried in person. It was a bit of a hassle, but a big part of the ritual of entering--standing in line with all the other artists hoping their piece will be selected for the exhibit. (And if you don't get in, there is the sad little email that says "sorry, but you're not in!" and then you have to stand in line again with all the disappointed artists who come to pick up your rejected piece).

But this year there is a first round which involves registering your piece online, along with a photo of your piece. You have to make it past that first round to be asked to bring in your piece to be juried in person.

I always have a hard time deciding what piece to enter. This year was no exception. Today is the deadline for registration. Last year I'll admit that I decided to take a pass and not enter. But I promised myself that this year I would give it a shot. There is no entry fee, for god's sake. And this year, all I need to do is send in a few images.

I try not to overthink these decisions, but I generally do. I decided to go with this series of abstract watercolors that I titled Ripening. To be counted as one piece, they needed to be framed as one--which is how I wanted to present them, but does make it more challenging to get a good photo. Besides the one image of the whole piece, I was able to submit two detail shots. For the detail shots, I picked two images from the series that I hope will peak the interest of the juror (and usually it is just one juror for each category). Honestly, I really wish I could have taken the piece in, even if it meant standing in line for several hours, to be juried in person. But it is what it is.

I enter the piece with no expectations (but plenty of hopeful anticipation). I just didn't want to pass up the opportunity to enter this year. 

So the registration is done. And now, along with thousands of other MN artists, I will sit and wait for an email that either says, "sorry, but your piece..." or "your piece has been selected..."

Regardless of the outcome, I will check out the exhibit--like I do every year! And then I will start dreaming about what piece I will enter next year!

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