This weekend I had the opportunity to see this business from the other end of the rejection e-mail when I helped the juror pick out work for the show at Spark. Now, to be clear, he was the one giving the yea or nay on pieces, but a part of me ached for everyone that got rejected, even though the juror did make the right call and I understood why he rejected them. He was even kind enough to explain a little why he was rejecting a piece and let me know that he would be happy to talk to people about their work if they wanted. What really struck me was the way he chose the awards for the show. There were a couple of established artists who had submitted work to the show who were allowed into the show but not chosen for awards specifically because they didn't need the encouragement of an award. The works that were chosen for awards were from talented artists who kind of fly under the radar and who would benefit from some added encouragement.
Which raises the question of how to spot an artist who has potential? I have been offered, and accepted of course, the use of an artist's plaster studio to develop some molds for my sculptures. This is such an honor for me and I really am pleased to think that he thinks enough of me that I merit such attention. Far better than any award is someone's faith in my potential as an artist. I have had several artists giving me extra attention along my way and I am so thankful to those mentors. I know that, even though I am still at the beginning, I wouldn't even be this far without them. What about you? Have you had special mentors that have helped you achieve your goals?