Another 'Thank you, but no.'
The initial e-mail gave a soup-to-nuts listing of possible reasons why:
We received a record 103 submissions this year, and 6 shows were selected...
For your reference, the primary reasons for submissions not being accepted include:
- subject matter not suitable for the hospital environment;
- amount of work is insufficient for the size of the gallery;
- artwork lacks visual cohesion;
- artwork is uneven stylistically and does not hold together as a unit;
- group submission lacks a cohesive theme or quality among the works;
- similar work has been selected for exhibitions in recent years;
- the submission was incomplete.
Exhibit selections vary each year as the submissions change. You are welcome and encouraged to submit again next year. Our next deadline for submissions will be March 31, 2018.
Once again, thank you for your submission and for your interest in the Friends of University Hospitals' McMullen Gallery.
Well! That wasn't particularly helpful...so I wrote back and asked for clarification. I was correct in assuming that one problem with MOB was that it was too small (on its own) for the gallery space. The gentleman who wrote (the Gallery's Manager, who is not part of the jury) confirmed this suspicion, and then outlined the apparent concerns with MOB.
One had to do with the quality of photos -- which were a a challenge because in order to show the exhibit in situ I had to submit photos that had been taken when it was up in Lacombe last fall.
But...the main problem with MOB?
The jury appreciated the story you shared, and your journey into art-making in such a trying time in life. It is not that they didn't like the work. They certainly saw potential in the theme of honoring those with Type 1 Diabetes, they felt that the very literal imagery of the syringes and the stumps a bit jarring. The jury does love to see proposals that highlight health-related themes, but it is tricky because some visuals can be difficult for patients.This response is a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, MOB is intentionally jarring! So clearly, I made my point for the jury -- but they didn't think the viewing public could handle it.
On the other hand, if a Gallery affiliated with a University which houses some of the finest research being done today into the cause(s), treatment, cure and prevention of Type 1 Diabetes isn't prepared to carry such an exhibit about what it's like to live with the disease, because it might upset people with the disease (who, by the by, already have a very clear idea of what they're up against), well then...where do I go from here?!
One application left -- in the hands of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, which tells applicants from the outset that they will not receive a response unless it is a "yes". I have no idea how long to hold my breath on that one.