The very first person to befriend me when our family spent a lovely two years in Chicago was the wonderfully witty Robbi Eklow. On my very first visit to the area she picked me up for a few hours of bead hunting and laughter and I’ve counted her as a friend ever since. I have enjoyed following her career as an artist and author and highly recommend her latest book, “Goddess of the Last Minute.”
One of my all-time favorite writings of hers is her response to the rejection letters we all receive. She has graciously permitted me to repost it in it’s entirety for you pleasure. Pull it up next time you receive a rejection and you’ll be smiling again in no time!
What if quilt shows offered you the chance to write your own acceptance/rejection letter? Or what if they wrote letters saying what they REALLY meant, instead of those nice ones that usually say how hard it was to choose just a few quilts out of all the excellent ones that were sent to them?
Here are a few of my offerings:
- • Your work has been accepted into our quilt show, please peel yourself off the ceiling at the earliest convenience.
- • Your work has been accepted into our quilt show, please follow the enclosed directions for shipping it to us. And thanks for the box of homemade cookies. The jury was impressed.
- • Your work has NOT been accepted into our quilt show, please proceed to the nearest quart of Mint Chocolate chip icecream and dig in.
- • Your work is fabulous, we can’t believe we didn’t notice this before and have you in our quilt show every year. In the meantime, we are looking forward to receiving your current entry and possibly putting it on the cover of our book.
- • We declined to accept your work in this year’s our quilt show, due to the butt headedness of our jury. Although we could not convince them to recant, we have decided never to have them again, and next time will ask them what they think of your work BEFORE we invite them to jury.
- • We’re sorry, we cannot accept your work into our quilt show this year. In fact, we doubt we’ll ever accept your work into our quilt show. Perhaps you should consider learning to operate a pottery wheel. We’re keeping your slides in an effort to prevent you from inflicting your poor taste on another jury.
- • We are declining your quilt entry this year. Whatever made you think we would consider a quilt using puce and chartruce in the same quilt? We are enclosing a free coupon for a color class at your local community college.
- • Puleeze! Your work looks just like (insert famous quilter’s name here). Haven’t you had an original idea in the last ten years? Not that (insert famous quilter’s name here) has, but that’s beside the point.
- • We are so sorry to have declined to accept your work into this year’s quilt show. Your work is so incredibly amazing, the workmanship divine, NOTHING else submitted can stand up to it, why the WHOLE show would have looked shabby compared to your work. Since we do not want to hurt the rest of the artist’s feelings, we have decided not to show them up by including your work.
• Dear Mrs. Eklow, even though technically, your husband’s 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado DOES qualify as a quilt (three layers:metal, upholstery and padding, held together by bolts) we feel that the shipping costs of the traveling show would be prohibitive. We did consider using the trunk as a storage area for the REST of the show, but we can’t find a garage big enough to house the car, and it’s reported gas mileage of 5 gallons to the mile makes that idea inefficient. That said, we do admire your efforts to find a way to get rid of the vehicle once and for all without hurting your husband’s feelings.
- • Dear Mrs. Robbi Joy Eklow: Unfortunately for you, we aren’t taking your quilt/quilts into our show this year. Mrs. Robbi Joy Eklow, we had over 750 submittals, but we can only show 25 quilts. However we do appreciate the $40 entry fee you sent, please send another $50 if you’d like a ticket to the opening night. We need to cover our expenses. Mrs. Robbi Joy Eklow your work was one of the outstanding entrees, and we’re not just saying that even though this is obviously a form letter.
• Dear Mrs. Eklow, we can’t accept your quilts into our multimedia show this year. We prefer the avant guarde work we’ve been showing for the past 40 years and will continue to reserve our exhibition space for those artists who’ve shown their work for that period of time. And this year, we’d appreciate it if you’d decline to send a rebuttal letter to our rejection letter. We don’t care if you think those fabric blankets of yours deserve to hang next to or in place of the lovely oil paintings of dogs playing poker.
- • Please return the enclosed postcard along with a check for $50 to receive a ticket to the opening night reception. We know you’d like nothing better than to spend an evening fawning over the artists who DID make it into our fabulous show. Drinks will start at 9pm, $10 for wine, $15 for margaritas. And we’ve got those cute little hotdogs floating in barbeque sauce. $3