This last week had some rejections which bothered me much more than they should have. Getting rejected from an art show, where there was plenty of wall space, because my art wasn’t good enough is a bit much. Especially because these people who were hung were mostly amateurs. I am not feeling bad because they were hung, after all this is a city remote from what they call art in the big cities. In the big cities, I’m thinking New York, and San Francisco, they seek out visual experiences that are new, that challenge their sensibilities, that open their eyes to something never seen before. Whereas, in Bend, art is exactly the opposite. Here art is something that is pleasing to the eyes, something that comforts the souls, something that makes their daily lives enjoyable.
That is just fine with me, and their works should be exhibited for these people’s friends to see, but what annoyed me was refusing to hang something that explores a tiny bit beyond their safe, lovely and enjoyable world. The showing of something that would have given a moment of humor even to the more conservative art world a hundred years ago, and would have given a laugh to any modern person who had taken an art history class. Since last week I have shown these “works of art” to over a dozen people and they all enjoyed them, and no one was offended. Everyone thought they should be shown, and some even said the committee who rejected them should feel guilty for being such overly delicate prudes. I didn’t feel that way because they were in charge of the show and they could decide what they wanted to hang. It is the loss to the community they were supposed to serve not to show something that would challenge their world view.
Unfortunately for me, in a totally separate event, this week included a person accusing me of cheating on the Science Pub questionnaire. I had won the T-shirt. I only missed one question out of eight, and apparently, no one of the hundred people present got more than three questions right. They had more T-shirts, but I suppose they felt that if people couldn’t get even half the questions right they didn’t deserve a prize. Later, when talking to the speaker he asked me if I was the person who won the T-shirt, to which I said yes. He then asked me which question I missed, and when I told him I thought the correct answer was so obvious I considered it a trick answer, and then gave my reasons for my answer, he gave me credit for having an acceptable answer. So, by the lecturer’s own scoring I got all the questions right.
Unknown to anyone, until now, was that I was talking with an interesting person, and didn’t even look at the questionnaire until the speaker was being introduced. That is, I did the whole questionnaire very quickly while being distracted by the introductory speech. That is why I was surprised to win, and doubly surprised to be accused of cheating. I had handed my answer sheet to another person, which were the rules, and I didn’t grade it myself.
I love living in Bend, but it does have its challenges.