Friday, May 6, 2011
Getting The Big Envelope, via email
The Big Envelope means your work has been accepted. The Big Envelope is full of instructions for shipping and catalog photography and loan agreements. The Little Envelope has a very polite "perhaps next time" letter.
It's been fourteen years since I last had work accepted to the international Birds in Art exhbition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. (Granted, I can only remember submitting a piece once during those fourteen years, and you can't win if you don't play!)
"Submit work to Birds in Art" has had a perpetually neglected spot on my annual To Do list for a long time now. The show's April submission deadline is always the same, but year after year I let it pass because I haven't felt I had anything strong enough to submit.
This year, though, I had the newly-completed "Ripples," which received many favorable comments from blog readers and Facebook friends.
"Hmmm," I thought. "Hmmmm."
I made the submission at the last minute and told no one, save the DM, that I had done so. And until this morning I put it out of my head completely.
The Big Envelope comes electronically now, but I still had that same heart-stopping moment when I saw something from the Woodson Museum in my inbox instead of my mailbox. That intense feeling of hope-braced-for-disappointment made it difficult to comprehend the letter... all I could do on that first read was skim for the word congratulations. And then the words: "Ripples has been selected."
There is always excitement and gratification when a Big Envelope arrives (by whatever method). But this one is special. My first selection to Birds in Art was in 1991, exactly 20 years ago. That exhibition marked the start of my journey as a professional artist and introduced me to friends who have never wavered in their support, even during the times I stopped working completely. Some of them, I already know, will be there this year, too. To say I am looking forward to attending the opening is a major understatement. See those ripples behind the duck? They're actually caused by me, vibrating with delight.