Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sell By Date

This piece is Natural History - 27x8". It is extremely old, having been completed in 2005.

I have entered fewer juried shows in the last few years than in the past when I made collage pieces rather than fiber art. I guess I got caught up in creating the work rather than getting it out into the world. Now that I’m ready to attempt to enter more shows, I find that the vast majority of my artwork is just too old.

For the past three years, I have done several series of smaller pieces (which I feel are not appropriate for "important" shows) and most of the larger pieces I have done have been commissions. There are a handful of medium-sized pieces that I have entered into juried shows. As I only attempt 2-3 shows each year, these pieces only have a couple of opportunities to make it into a show before they expire.

Each prospectus I read states that artwork must have been completed within the last 2 years (some will give you up to 4 years). This means that the vast majority of my artwork has already expired.

Is there a reason for this rule?

What am I going to do with all of my old art?

Does artwork get stale?

Can I file a complaint based on age discrimination?

My artwork looks fresh and new to me. Last time I looked it wasn’t droopy or wrinkled.

Will my pieces turn into pumpkins after so many years? It hasn’t happened yet.

This whole age thing has forced me to look at my art in a different light. Instead of gazing upon what I used to think of as a beautiful piece, I now look at the same piece and think "darned old thing". That’s just not right. Good thing museums don’t kick the art to the curb after a couple of years.

I thought old meant wise. We are taught (hopefully) to have respect for the elderly. Why does this not apply to artwork?

What’s that Science Fiction movie? Logan’s Run? Isn’t that were people are poofed when they get to be 30? Should I do the same with my old artwork? Poof it?


paula said...

it is all silliness. they have to make rules up to keep themselves busy.

my art isn't quite that old yet since i haven't been making it four years but already i look at my first works and have redone them, thrown them out etc. they have a shelf life...some expire sooner than others depending on my mood. its just as bad as keeping tons of pictures or things from the past, it just adds up and becomes stagnate energy.

Nellie's Needles said...

You have many good and valid points. I love it. There are quite a few rolled up and put away quilts in my house as well. I like to think each of them will eventually find a home or venue. It doesn't bother me too much, because it's the process of creating that feeds my soul. But it sure feels good to have other people accept and respect it.

Kim Hambric said...

Hopefully I have not given the message that I only create to sell. If I felt that way, I would just go to work at a widget factory. I must create. But like a good parent, I love all of my little creations, and I feel I must eventually send them out into the world, hopefully by finding loving homes for them.