Rejection … rejection … re –

I’m still trying to get my artwork shown in various national galleries. It’s part of the next evolution from my summer based “Competition Season.” And after a while, the rejection letters don’t sting as much as they normally would. It’s like Pavlog’s dog in the electrified cage. At first, when the cage electrifies, the dog leaps and jumps in shock. But after a while, the dog simply lies down on the cage floor and takes the inevitable shocks.

I submitted five of my entries to a black and white photo competition on the West Coast, and got this response back.

Chuck Miller:

Thank you for submitting your work to the Black and White: 2023 exhibition at Black Box Gallery. We had an absolutely wonderful response to our call for entry. There were so many beautiful, accomplished and uniquely creative photographs. Unfortunately your work was not chosen for the exhibition, but it was a pleasure to view your work, your accomplishments as a photographer and your dedication to the on-going process of being an artist.

We sincerely wish you the best of luck with your photography and your development as a creative artist and photographer. Black Box Gallery appreciates being part of that conversation and dialogue about contemporary photography with all of our artists.

Buzz. Turn on the shock cage.

Oh well. Oh, here’s an email I received yesterday from a gallery in Denver, as part of a conceptual art project. Let’s see what this letter says.

Chuck Miller:

Thank you for submitting to D’art Gallery’s “Conceptual Photography Exhibition” … Unfortunately, your above work(s) was (were) not selected. The juror found the pool of submitted photographs to be of exceptional quality and variety. Sometimes there is disqualification due to not fitting parameters of the Call. We thank you for taking the time and effort to apply for consideration. As an artist-run gallery, we appreciate how much work and commitment it takes to apply to a call. All the best to you in your future artistic endeavors .We would love to consider you for future exhibitions at D’art Gallery.

Activate the shock cage buzz. What can I say? My photo (photos) was (were) not (not) selected.

This just isn’t my day. I have one more email to arrive – I submitted five of my best pieces, including Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night and The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake – to a show on Long Island.

I know at this point I’m putting my face down on the cage floor and asking for the electric current … but let’s open the email up.

Chuck Miller:

Thank you for your interest in submitting works for the fotofoto gallery 18th National Competition. Unfortunately, the work cited in this email was not selected for the exhibition. Our juror … had the daunting task of choosing only 30 images out of the 652 submitted. She was very impressed by the quality and variety of the entries and had an extremely difficult time narrowing down the choices to fit the available space for the exhibit. Please know that not being selected is not a reflection on the quality of your work. It only reflects our juror’s preferences and opinions. Do not be discouraged; we hope you will continue your passionate pursuit of photography, and try again with future competitions.

Nuts. Well, I suppose that the four rejected artworks listed in the email just couldn’t compete with the – what is it – 652 entries for 30 acceptances? Nuts nuts nuts.

Oh well. Guess I’ll try harder next time, I suppose.

Well, that’s my blog for today. Thanks for joining in my collective pity party. So let me get ready for the day and …

Wait just one second.

I submitted five entries to this competition. But the email listed only four rejections.

That doesn’t make sense … unless …


Oh, what’s this? Another email from the gallery?

Ah, it’s probably a special “we rejected this image straight-up, bonk brain.”

Okay. Let’s open this email.

Chuck Miller:

Congratulations! Your work “We Serve Wayward Strangers” has been accepted into fotofoto gallery’s 18th National Photography Competition.

Our juror, Alex Ferrone, had the daunting task of choosing only 30 images out of the 652 submitted. She was very impressed by the quality and variety of the entries and had an extremely difficult time narrowing down the choices to fit the available space for the exhibit.

We hope that you will be able to attend the opening reception on Saturday, March 11, 2023 from 5-7pm and possibly a Zoom reception with the date and time to be announced shortly. The exhibition dates are, March 9, 2023, through April 1, 2023. fotofoto gallery hours are Thursday 12:30-4pm; Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am-6pm, or by appointment. (Closed Mon. Tues. Wed.)

Attached are instructions outlining the procedure for sending your work to the gallery and the Artist Agreement form. We appreciate your participation in this event and we look forward to seeing your work on our walls!

Holy Toll Gate Ice Cream covered in creeping ivy and shot with vintage infrared film on an old Kodak Medalist II, Batman – THIS PHOTO MADE THE CUT!!

We Serve Wayward Strangers. Kodak Medalist II camera, Efke 820 infrared film, with Wratten R78 filter. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Okay … now I have to get back in the pattern. Contact McGreevy Pro Lab and get the print made. Then contact the framers for the specific framing dimensions and requirements. And get the print shipped down to Long Island for the show.

HOO WEE! That’s what I’m talking about!

Oh, and turn off the shocks. I’m already juiced up!! 😀