Light of Day: Rejects Reconsidered
30 March 2022
“If a circle shuts you out, draw a circle around it” - Marty Rubin
"If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment"
- Henry David Thoreau
"Rejection is protection" - Anonymous
For many artists, applying to open calls and submitting proposals is a big part of the job. This is especially true if you are just starting out. A bigger part of the process that is not talked about as much is rejection. You just won’t get them all. Make no mistake, it takes a lot to put the work out there to be juried. Artists take time to document, edit photos, and craft statements, and that is in addition to all that goes into creating the work itself. Often the decision simply comes down to juror preference, sometimes it seems political, and other times it is just “not the right fit.” There are numerous other reasons that are given, in manners ranging from professional feedback to the utterly tactless. While rejection may be used as fuel to become "better" or be more persistent, it can also just really burst your bubble.
115 artists from 28 countries, and 28 of the United States, submitted previously rejected work to Light of Day: Rejects Reconsidered. A wide range of media and stylistic approaches are on display. Love, loss, humor, nature, technology, and the idea of rejection itself are among the themes that emerge through material play, formal exploration, and technical experimentation. Many works feel like memoir, linked to certain times or places. Other works situate us in alternate realities, or direct us inward to a more internal contemplation. Some works verge on the political, serve subtle satire, open up deeper conversations about the state of our world. Others exist simply for beauty's sake, critique art-making itself, or are purely absurdist. Whether the artists are seasoned or just beginning their creative journey, commitment and passion shine though all. Each piece deserves reconsideration; to see the light of day.