It's that time of year again, when hundreds of local artists queue up at the gallery, hoping to have their work selected for the (usually) annual Bath Society of Artists show. There will be many rejections this time by the look of it.
H.I. is a highly respected and well-established painter around here who has exhibited at the show on many occasions. She once even sat on the selection panel, but eventually stopped entering this exhibition for one reason or another.
The panel who choose consists of other artists or other qualified people, and usually includes a famous name. When Peter Blake lived in the area, he was always invited to sit with the others, as have other members of his funny little group who lived in an old railway station in a village a few miles out of town.
A few years ago, one of the organisers asked H.I. if she would enter something, but she declined. The organiser kept badgering her to submit a painting so eventually she queued up with the rest (actually it was me who queued up for her!), paid the subscription fee and entered it. They rejected it. She paid to be humiliated. It was a good thing that it was me who queued up with the others.
I have just seen two people struggling to carry in a full-sized bronze casting of a Great Dane dog with a monkey on its back. I know from experience that this piece of art must have cost in the region of £10,000 or more to be cast and patinated at a large art foundry, so no matter what the subscription fee is these days it will seem as nothing by comparison, but not being selected will hurt the more.
The general standard of entries varies quite drastically between good, bad and mediocre, but who am I to judge?