Entrance: This Way

Temple of Love
Chased, Kum Boo and Hollow Constructed Amulet, Suspended from a Roman Chain
Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, 24K Gold; 1-3/4” long x 3/4” wide x 3/8" thick
© 2003, V. Lansford $979.
I've long been obesessed with archways, windows, and doors both for their beauty and their inevitable significance.  I'm not alone.  Ever since people began crawling in and out of caves to paint images inside them, we have understood their symbols for birth and transition.

I have to admit, however, that I find the proverbial window opening when a door closes saying to be a bit schmaltzy.  Much to my horror, when my son was a toddler, he ran around every house he visited slamming open doors closed and flinging closed doors open. (I remember vividly my mother-in-law flinching every time she thought his fingers were going to get caught.  His never did... mine... don't ask.)   The idea that there is some divine force doing the same thing with career opportunities on my behalf smacks of Hollywood happily ever after endings.

Instead, what I'm keenly aware of is that life is a colonnade of archways, cloisters, and clerestories.  When going through one isn't such a good option, all I have to do is turn around and notice all the others around me.

My artwork was recently accepted to a juried exhibition that I ended up having to turn down.  I'm very selective about applying to juried shows.  Doing so is not without cost and is quite time consuming, despite websites that streamline the process considerably from the old days of mailing in 35mm slides.  Figure application fees, insured shipping to and, if the artwork doesn't sell, from the gallery or museum, then every line on the exhibit section of any artist's resume costs around $100.  Fame is not cheap.  (Curated invitational are the best for many reasons!)  

It turned out that the exhibit had not declared in the prospectus that none of the artwork would be insured and that they did not really possess the appropriate cases for the type and level of exhibit they were promoting.  It's a little like a bait and switch.  You're in.  You might win a best in show prize.  You have insurance that covers the wholesale price, albeit with a big deductible. Shouldn't you just take a chance?

Not when the combined pieces of artwork represents 12 months of my life and a chunk of change, and the organizers have suddenly given themselves away as not being very professional or used to handling high end fine craft.  The thought of people breaking two of my most well-known works is not a happy one.  

So ticked off at having to email with people who don't seem to know what they're doing (and might have been a bit fraudulent in their prospectus), I sent my regrets.  I've never had to do that before, and it made me sad that I had invested the time (and the application fee) in applying.

A day later I received acceptance notification for a much better exhibit, accompanied by the usual information that these organizers do know what they're doing!  I'm embarrassed to admit that in the throws of shipping work to art galleries for the holidays and still getting over pneumonia, I had forgotten that I'd applied.  I remember the show and call for entry of course, but not until seeing which images I had sent did I remember the 2 hours I spent on the application.  I'd like to say it was the medication, but I was off most of them by then… Stress?  Perhaps.

Always lots of archways to go through…

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