Saturday, January 31, 2009


This week I have been at the computer, rather than at the loom or easel. I have perhaps vaguely alluded in the past to the exhibit that I am working on for the American Tapestry Alliance. It is a juried exhibit of international small format tapestries, and you can find out more about if you go here. I mention it now because I feel like I have been 'chatting' with all of the artists who entered the exhibit, one by one, all week. The jury results came back, so my task has been to get a letter out to each artist to let them know if their work will, or will not, be in the exhibit. Although the letters I am sending out are, of necessity, form letters, that does not mean I, as the sender, don't take each of them personally. You probably don't realize that when you receive one of those letters. You are just relieved and excited to have your work accepted, or disappointed and a bit angry to feel like you have been 'rejected.' But, having lived and worked with the tapestry images for quite some time, inputting them into my computer, and putting together the slide presentation for the juror, I do feel a personal connection with each tapestry, and through them, with each maker and weaver. I do feel the disappointment that will be felt with each letter that bears the news that there is not room in the exhibit for their piece. And that is the reality... there is only room for so many pieces. Some absolutely stunning pieces by some wonderful artists will not be in the show. And, as the jury process is so subjective, any other juror would have chosen a totally different show. I entered the "All Passion Spent" tapestry, and it will not be in the exhibit, but I KNOW that I am in good company, so I don't feel too badly about it. I really wish I could share all the entries with all of you. It would be a true gift for you to be able to see, as I have, 184 amazing small tapestries from weavers who work in our medium all over the world. If you get a letter from me this week, on behalf of ATA, know that I was truly thinking of you when I sent it, no matter what the jury results may be. And, Thank You for sharing your work with me as I have worked on this exhibit! It has truly blessed me.


Anonymous said...

And thank you for taking the time and effort to work on this event!

I know there is an army that puts together any competition/show.
So much work.
So much time.
It is truly a labor of love.

Thanks for reminding me of this I hit the submit button for SDA's shows.

Krystyna Sadej said...

Dear Kathy, you touched me very much, with what you said in your post. You are not only a great artist; you are also a great person. I really sympathize with you. It must be very hard and tough to work in the art contests committee. I was recently asked to be a juror (not tapestry contest though) but after the second thought … I refused. I do not think I am ready to make the "refusal" decision. It is not easy to swallow "the message of rejection" but I think that in a failure of this kind there is always a piece of success.
Especially if we create piece of art that is inspired by the contest title and wanted to participate… We like this piece and that is our reward even if it is refused for the show… and nothing should change that.
Thanks Kathy for your tender spirit.

K Spoering said...

Krystyna, Thank you for YOUR kind words! It can be hard to work on an exhibit, but it is also very rewarding. For instance, besides the juror, I'm the only one who has seen ALL of the wonderful entries! Those who just see the exhibit will miss all the entries that there wasn't room for, and some of them are as amazing as the ones that will be in the show. Also, I have learned a great deal from being involved in putting together exhibits, both for ATA and for Art Centers and galleries. And I have 'met' (either in person or through their work) wonderful artists and people from all over the world... Like you!

mdsol said...


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. It was a thoughtful piece about the jurying process. Thank you for sharing, and for all your hard work on this exhibit.

OzWeaver said...


You understand so well the reason art is's not the 'thing' itself, it's our connection to people, events, life. I don't think there could be a more caring, sensitive custodian of "the decision" than you!