For the first time this year, I embarked on a new adventure and entered a piece of mine into the NC State Fair. Fellow Guild members had encouraged me to do it last year, but I didn't get my act together to make the deadline. This year, I made a special point of being ready on time. As a first-time entrant to this juried competition, I found the categories a bit confusing as they related to my work (why is it that there's usually no Mixed Media category, which would make life so much easier?!), but chose the Professional Painting category. When I took my entry in, the director took one look, and said she thought "Land and Sea" would be better suited to the Professional 3-Dimensional category. As I was in line with others who were obviously entering the Painting category (with traditionally framed landscapes and portraits), it seemed she was right. So, I had my category changed to the one she suggested. I left, hoping for the best.
My son Jordan went to the fair, and saw my entry had been juried into the display, but hadn't won a "premium". He took a photograph of it with his phone, along with the winning entry in the 3-D category (which was a ceramic teapot). I was disappointed, but not surprised, expecting that something much more "country" or traditional would have won. Since the State Fair isn't my favorite place to get to or to be, I decided not to go, figuring I'd seen what I needed to see in the photo.
Today was the day to pick up work since the Fair ended yesterday. I was able to see some of the other entries--there was a fantastic turned wood vase in the "Amateur" category--as well as the winning teapot. When I turned my piece over, I noticed the official Entry Tag, which listed my category as not only 3-Dimensional, but as "3-Dimensional Sculptures"! So no wonder my painted and decoupaged bamboo bowl was competing against ceramics. Seems like the proverbial apples and oranges, but in the absence of a Mixed Media category, that's what happens.
Best of all, alongside the Entry Tag was a handwritten note, with the name of someone who is "interested in purchase"! Very cool, potentially. I've left a message at the number, and I'm looking forward to speaking with him soon.
So, as a Facebook friend said, " All good things come to those who read the back of their work," I'm celebrating the positive: the experience of entering, the positive feedback of everyone who saw it, including the director, and the possibility of selling the piece to someone who appreciates it. And next year, who knows?