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Re: Bookbinding

As a poet and visual artist, I must agree with Richard Minsky regarding
judging work.  I, too, suffered agonies in those early days of
rejection.  Now, when I send a poem out or slide out and the work
is rejected, I look at it again.  I teach my students to do the same,
to understand that the rejection process is as valuable as
acceptance, that standards are essential.  It is true that
sometimes one's work is rejected out of hand by a careless judge
or editor, but people are not perfect.  And, if the art is so important,
if one's place in the world of poetry and visual art is important to the
artist/writer, one must accept the rules of his/her particular worlds.
No one is forced to submit his/her work for judging, but the
opinions of Cousin Bob or Mom and Dad, who love us whatever we
do, are not enough for the growing artist, the one who wants to
move on.  Even shy Joseph Cornell wanted the recognition of the
world, and who isn't full of joy that he did?  Only read Vincent Van
Gogh's extraordinary letters to know that he needed approval and
recognition as much as anyone.

Bertha Rogers


Date sent:              Mon, 4 Sep 2000 04:50:48 -0400
Send reply to:          "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com"              <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
From:                   Richard Minsky <minsky@MINSKY.COM>
Subject:                Bookbinding
To:                     BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU

> Rommel John Miller wrote:
> >It is precisely this type of "Power" in the Book Arts community
> >which intimidates me.
> >Why can't we just make books ... for the sake of making them
> > and making them beautifully?  Why must we compete?  Judge or be
> >judged?
> I love bookbinding that is useful and beautifully done. Everybody who has
> books should learn how to do it. It's a wonderful craft. It's refreshing to
> be called an elitist. Usually I'm accused of being too inclusive. ;>)
> No one is forced to compete. Artists exhibit their work. That is our act of
> publication, particularly for unique works.
> I understand the intimidation and fear of rejection. When I was younger and
> sent my slides in to competitive or juried shows it made me nauseus.
> Literally. I got butterflies in my stomach every time. For one thing, my
> work was so peculiar compared to what was going on in bookbinding that it
> was often rejected. That didn't stop me from making it. It made me start a
> new organization.
> I must judge because it's my job. To select work that will be presented to
> the public, or to choose an artist that gets the award. That selection will
> represent the organization that is mounting the exhibit. And those who pay
> expect me to do as good a job as can be done, to have a reason for the
> choices, and to write a catalog introduction that explains the curatorial
> framework. It's made more difficult because sometimes you have to say no to
> your friends. I'm still getting flak from people whom I didn't include in an
> exhibition over a decade ago.
> When one submits work to be judged it is a growth process. What it is one
> learns is the point of this discussion.
>         Richard
>         http://www.minsky.com
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