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Most every artist has experiences of not having their work accepted into competitions, exhibitions and galleries. Most call these notices of not being accepted "rejection" slips. Is there a difference between 'not being accepted' and 'being rejected'?
The fact is they have the same results - your work did not get into the exhibition. 'Rejection' is a harsh word and by thinking one has been rejected, it stings a bit more. In 50 years of attempts to get into exhibitions, I never received a rejection notice - I have, however, received plenty of "Sorry your work was NOT accepted."
Why the pickiness over the wording of being informed one's work did not make it into an exhibition or gallery? The idea of being rejected is a bit harder to take than being told your artwork wasn't accepted. Rejection is taken more personally; one tends to blame poor jurying and judges with grudges or agendas.
I've served on lots of juries for both local and national art exhibitions. It isn't an easy task narrowing 3,000 entries down to 200, or even 135 in a few cases. Before online jurying, one had to travel to where the jurors met, spend a night in a motel at your own expense, spend the next two days going over all the entries again and again. Then, to be totally sure, going over those unaccepted works one last time. If it makes one feel good to blame the jurors and judges, then one may do so, but in all the years I've served on juries I have yet to meet a juror or judge with a grudge or an agenda...
Editor's Note: You can view David's original post here.