I entered the Rockford Midwestern Art Show awhile back and was not accepted. My brother had one of his pieces accepted and I was very happy for him, but I have to admit I was disappointed that I didn't get in. Now, after the reception, the juror's statement came out in a booklet. Here are some of Robert McCauley, Professor Emeritus, Rockford College quotes:
"This year’s crop (using the regional vernacular) of entries was only Midwestern in a kind of modest approach to size and a less-than-ambitious conceptual risk-taking. (“How long are you willing to stay at point number one?” –J. Beuys) The only really bad pieces were not bad because they tried too hard; they were bad because they were bad art, or more to the point, not good enough to be called 'art.'"
"My condolences (but not apologies) to those not accepted for this exhibition."and
"Painting came in strong, varied, and schizophrenic if not anxious, with a smaller but impressive showing by photography. As is always the case with regional competitions, sculpture was an embarrassment. Is it too physically demanding to make sculpture, too complex to think in the third dimension, or just too much work to photograph and transport? Gravity wins by default."Thank goodness this is America. Not only is he entitled to have an opinion, he is free to express that educated opinion however he wishes. However, on a personal level it is very depressing for me to hear that my artwork was not accepted into the show because it wasn't good enough to be called art.
Despite my personal feelings about some of his outright hostile statements regarding the Midwest, regional art and the show as a whole; I feel sorry for this guy. I read how he grew up in Washington state, how he continues to show in the Pacific Northwest, how his work shows the pristine landscapes and animals of the west coast, and how is is stuck in Illinois at a small college. He must be a very unhappy, dissatisfied person. Unfulfilled dreams temper a person's soul.
So, to Mr. Robery McCauley, Professor Emeritus, Rockford College I say: I'm sorry we as a Midwestern people let you down with our humble, unintellectual, Puritan, self-conscious, conservative, mainstream, and safe Midwestern, regional ways.