Gallery Submission: Reee-jected!

I almost minored in English. I’ve always enjoyed writing and thought a minor might be useful. I didn’t finish though, running out of time and money for so many extra classes.

One of my writing classes was a poetry composition class. Something I’ve always remembered from our very short prof in the class was to keep all of your rejection letters. We’re bound to get them she assured us. A requirement of the class, if I recall correctly, was to send some of our writing to at least one publication. I only sent out three or so appeals (to journals way over my student status), and only thought one of the three poems I enclosed was worth anything. My prof was equally as excited about the same poem, saying it was the kind of piece writers waited around for for years.

    Even the Birds Know
    Cardinal in the morning
Crowns the bare and trifle 


    Patient in paltry snow;
    She croons a kind 

    Warble for an injured soul.
    Standout! Standout

    In scarlet robe against 

    Blue and gray adobe sky.

    Patience, my friend,
Is her maternal cry;
Sending such orchestrated
Echoes by the campanile,

    So that even preacher Timson
Begs his daily chores

    To stop, and let him listen.

It’s one of the few that I’ve kept a copy of. I don’t have time to go back to writing like this, and frankly only have random interest anymore. If there are any readers who’ve followed The Aesthetic Elevator since the very beginning, you may remember me posting it about two and a half years ago.

Today I received my first rejection letter from a gallery.

Above is the letter, posted on the blog in the same fashion my poetry prof encouraged us to create a wall of such rejections. This is probably the only time I’ll do this, my point being made.

I’m a little surprised my Storm Over the Prairie was denied. It is a very successful and well-crafted work in my educated opinion. It also is probably very different than most submissions to this local gallery. I’m guessing here, but my assumption is that they receive few mixed media works. And just for fun, here’s an image of that work again.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Gallery Submission: Reee-jected!

  1. suburbanlife says:

    Paul – rejection from shows and I are close acquaintances. The truly interesting acceptance in my experience was a work that was accepted into a juried show, but hung in such a way that it might as well have been left out. As in ‘damned’ by position near the exit sign.
    Rejection and feelings of dejection go hand-in-hand, but it is important to keep in mind that call-for-entries in a juried show means many deserving and undeserving works will be rejected. Acceptance does not necessarily mean a work is successful – just that in the view of a juror, fits with the determinants of inclusion.

  2. pNielsen says:

    I almost mentioned the personality of a juror as related to such shows, but thought it was assumed for my audience. In retrospect, in reading your comment, I should have brought it up. Thanks for the notation.

    Further, there is probably less space for three-dimensional works (correct me if you know differently) than wall-hangings.

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