For about twelve years now Iâ€™ve been trying to get my photography into the Fine Arts exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. It has become my cross to bear, my mountain to climb, my adversary that wonâ€™t let me retreat.
Prior to a couple years ago, you would register your pride and joy and then bring in the framed perfection for judging. Some people were asked to leave their entries because they were deemed worthy, and others had to pick them up in what I referred to as the â€œwalk of shame.â€ I became the poster child for the walk of shame.
Anyway, the powers that be then refined the process. Now you register your pride and joy and submit via email a picture of your, well, picture. That is â€œphase one.â€
Someone in the mysterious depths of the judging world decides if your entry is worthy of â€œphase two.â€ This year, for only the second time, I was deemed worthy of â€œphase two.â€ (See photo attached to this blog.)
My heart pounded, my hopes soared. Maybe, maybe, this year would be my year!
I spent a couple hundred dollars getting an enlargement of the print made in conjunction with custom framing. The one hundred mile round-trip to drop off the photo was done with a huge smile on my face. Maybe, maybeâ€¦I kept thinking. I handed over my entry, initialed the form, and went on my way. Rain started to fall just as I was leaving. Omen? Nah.
A couple of days later the email arrived with a â€œping.â€ I saw it was from the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition folks. Holding my breath I brought up the following words:
We regret to inform you that your piece was not selected to be displayed at this year’s Fine Arts Exhibition.
It goes on to tell me to get my butt over there to pick up my photo or they would not be held responsible for any damage. Oh, and better luck next year.
Argh. Twelve years of rejection! Twelve years of hopes and pride and believing it is possible. Argh.
My husband said he was sorry that it didnâ€™t happen, again, and that maybe itâ€™s time to let this competition go. Iâ€™m sorry, but I canâ€™t. I have to keep going until I make it inside those musty cement walls for twelve days of glory. Learning that Iâ€™m not a quitter, even though in all honesty I cried when the words shred my heart, is the best part of my day.