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Reality Check - The Sarasota Art League


#1

people, help! -

i need a reality check on a situation involving a local art show, an
art league newbie staff member, a data base, injustice, and a brick
wall. for several years the sarasota arts league/council has held a
marvelous ‘arts day’ production showcasing all forms of art, 2-D,
3-D, performance, kids’ exhibits, a very artist inclusive affair. i
have been a member of that league for several years. from the
beginning i have applied and been juried into the artists’ section;
the least i ever sold for that one afternoon of ‘arts day’ was
$2000+; lots of repeat customers. it never was a precisely
regimented ‘you do it our way or you’re out’ run show; it’s an art
league/council run by, and for, artists, not drill sergeants i cannot
remember any hard and rigid prohibitions on deadlines; my canceled
application checks for past years run from october to december. the
one invariable is that it’s always held in the middle sunday of
january.

by october no application had arrived, left a voice mail request at
the main league number for one. nothing. after the third request i
received an application to be a ‘volunteer’ at the show. left yet
another voice mail request for artist’s application. one more call
finally reached the person in charge of the artists’ section, a ms
shani. hearing my application request, she informed me that i had
missed the deadline. okaaay, i brought to her attention that i had
not known the deadline. “it was on the application.” okaaay, “i did
not get an application with the deadline date on it, so i could not
know when it was; had i gotten one i wouldn’t have missed the
deadline because i love this show wouldn’t want to miss it.” in fact,
the sarasota art league had used my 2004 ‘arts day’ evaluation
comments, ending “i love this show” in the ‘sunshine artist’ audit.

wellll, it seems that they had not sent an application to me because
i was “not in the data base.” projecting a verbal smile i gave her my
vitals about having always been juried into the artists’ section from
the beginning; even had a ‘usual’ space; etc. she was not interested,
since i was “not in the data base” she had no way to verify my
’story’. pointing out to her that a quick check of past show write
ups, reports, ‘sunshine artist’ issue, whatever, would back my words
(those of you who belong to an art league know that there is always a
lot of verbiage on the league’s activities - public money is usually
at stake here) she could not do that because she had only been on
staff for FOUR MONTHS and i was "not currently in the data base,"
with the tacit implication that if i had ever really been in any
other data base i would be in the current data base. “i had to have
been in past ‘data bases’ since i’ve done the show for years!” met
with a brick wall. ms shani informed me “once a year eight people get
together with the applications and jury the ones they felt to be
qualified into the artists’ section.” at this point i knew there was
brick dust on my nose (plus i was sick to death of the words ‘data
base’ and ‘application’ - but not as sick as i am now of typing them)
but i repeated, “that group juried me into the show for years - my
work quality has gone up, so i would have been juried in again. had i
received an application i wouldn’t have missed the deadline. you did
not send me an application. this situation is not of my making but i
am the one being punished for an error made by someone else.” up
popped that old standby, “there’s nothing i can do now. i can’t get
those eight people back together. you missed the deadline.” at this
point i was too weak from breathing brick dust to stop my native
floridian ego from saying “you’re not from this area are you?” my
perception didn’t sit well at the other end. “why? because we do
things a little less rigidly. it’s an art show, not the pentagon.”
[the pentagon i had clearance for but not…]

for those of you who never lived in the south, you might not be
aware that there are efforts made to keep certain attitudes from
dropping below the mason-dixon line. attitudes so frequently and
extensively expressed it’s a wonder that more mayhem hasn’t resulted;
even tee shirts bear printed advice: “we don’t want to hear how you
did it up there. you’re down here now. get over it.”

suggesting that "since no one else knows at this point i had not
been sent an application. since the jury has always accepted my work.
since the error was not mine it would be reasonable for you to
quietly resolve the error and quietly ‘grandfather’ me in. quietly
assign me a space in the artists’ section, as in all previous years."
ms shani’s offer was to try to put me in the - are you ready?- the
’hands on’ section. okaaay, missing one deadline was deadly, but
another deadline could be ignored if i agreed to be shunted off to
the children’s section. after what seemed like a long week on one
conversation, it ended.

i sent ms shani an email with 3 images of my work* and the
rhetorical statement: “does the quality of this work* look like it
belongs in the ‘hands on’ section!” sooo, the ‘hands on’ person sent
me an email saying ms shani had told her i wanted to be in that
section. at this point i grabbed a pencil and jammed it between my
teeth to prevent biting off my tongue, then sent copies of my
position, my work* and suggestion of ‘grandfathering’ to some other
officers. sent the ‘hands on’ person one saying that i had not asked
to be in her section but had wanted in where i had always been: the
artists’ section. ms shani replied

"We will note that you chose not to participate in Arts Day this
year." a 2 pencil restraint needed right away. 

note: the above is a pretty accurate verbatim report and took 2
weeks to transpire.

now, my reality check:

~ was my position unreasonable?

~ or, was i treated unjustly?

~ was ms shani, with her very recent appearence on the scene,
correct in refusing to give me a quiet grandfathering into the
artists’ section?

~ does anyone know where i can make up the $2000.00 to $4000.00 loss
from the show i had planned to take to tucson in january? (just
thought i’d throw that in)

ive
*see gallery:
https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/ive.htm
https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/ive-1.htm


#2

You were treated unjustly, and it would have been reasonable for you
to chase the woman around with a kitchen knife. That would not,
however, get you what you want.

Maybe I am misreading the culture, but this sounds like the rural
mindset to me. Shani apparently did not obtain her present position
by virtue of her dedication and razor-sharp intellect. I would
hypothesize that she is a friend of, or related to, someone of
influence in the organization. So you are up against a common
dilemma- she is difficult and perhaps not the brightest bulb on the
christmas tree, but her position may not be dependent on her
competence in the first place, and she has the power to complicate
your life. If you get confrontational, you will lose, not because you
are wrong, but because you will be breaking the rules of this
particular game.

Rural culture is different from urban, industrialized culture. In
the big city, interactions are specialized and role based. You may be
an employer and I may be your employee, dictating how we interact,
regardless of our personal feelings, etc. Or you may be a
salesperson and I may be a customer, which carries a different set of
rules. With this mind set, we approach someone in a business setting
and we have definite expectations of behavior based on our respective
roles in the interaction. There is no definite personal component to
these interactions-- you treat someone you like pretty much the same
as someone you can’t stand- its business.

In rural settings, specialized roles are not the glue which holds
things together. This culture developed around farming, or ranching,
or similar, where there were fewer specialized roles and where
survival meant cooperation between peers. In a rural setting, the
glue which holds things together tends to be friendships, family
relationships, etc. In this setting, effective interactions are
personal and fairly effusive, your official role means little, and
how long you have been in the community, who you know and how well
liked you are means a hell of a lot.

Do you have any friends who are influential in this organization? Do
you have any friends who have friends in this organization? If I were
you, and wanting to be in the show next year, I would be working hard
to smooth things over and make the connections I need to, regardless
of whether I was the wronged party.

I may be totally misreading this, you can be the judge, but if what
I say has the ring of truth, it may be worth considering.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#3

My blood just boils reading this, ive.

You are not being unreasonable and there just HAS TO be somebody
somewhere above Ms Shani’s head, isn’t there, upon whom you can
prevail? Maybe whoever is in charge of the public money you refer to?

I’m very familiar with this situation. We have a similar person on
the Arts Council where I live who seems to have taken it as her
personal mission to deliberately misunderstand everything about my
applications and to prevent me from being in any shows run by the
Arts Council in my town.

She just sits there, placidly ruminating, eyes blank like a big fat
cow, obviously relishing her position of power, until I have talked
myself hoarse, waiting for me to just go away.

My sympathy. Hope you can find somebody to kick Ms. Shani’s behind
for you.

Linda


#4

Ive,

Why not ask for the emails of the jury and send images of your work,
and your documentation of what happened (ie: all of the times you
asked for an application, etc.) ? Obviously you have been dealing
with someone who is inept, and like some border guards, or other
people in similar situations, she is inflexible and possibly enjoying
the power of saying no. Sidestep her and get to the people with the
real power: the ones who created this show, and the ones who hired
this tiresome person.

If she will not give you the emails, get on the phone and ask each
person that was on the jury for their email, or very briefly say
that there has been a problem and you would like to speak to them
about it (rather than launching into the problem straight away).

(At the first hint of brick dust, take a few steps back and see what
you need to do to either go around or over the wall).

And if you have to? How could you turn being in the children’s area
into a positive? At least you would be there, and with a little
ingenuity, you could make it a into a winning situation: something
in the front for the kids, but who is with kids anyway but MoMs? A
jewelry making lesson sometime in the next year for the kid if the
mom buys a piece? There are more possibilities with this one, but
first you would have to open the window of possibility that your self
image could expand to meet this AND turn it to your own advantage.

I was at a show recently that was pretty bad, except for the work of
one person who I happened to know. I asked her why she was there
surrounded by all this bad stuff. With a gleam in her eye she told
me that she was having an amazing day and guessed that the rest was
only making her work stand out all the more. She sold most of what
she brought that day.

All the best to you,
Silani


#5
Shani apparently did not obtain her present position by virtue of
her dedication and razor-sharp intellect. 

Rural or urban, another factor that comes into situations like this
is that petty bureaucrats do not show their power by saying “yes”.
Plus, of course, to change your status might indicate that she had
been wrong. I like to express this as “the fighting is so bitter
because the stakes are so small.”

If it is not too late, you might consider accepting the spot she
offered. If you could set up your usual display and sell your work,
it may not matter if you’re technically in the “hands on” area.
You’re there, and customers will find you, and you don’t miss out
completely-- you have some continuity to your “seniority”. And who
knows, maybe when the actual day arrives, you can sweet-talk your
way into your usual spot.

Good luck!
Noel


#6

Lee,

apparently did not obtain her present position by virtue of her
dedication and razor-sharp intellect. I would hypothesize that she
is a friend of, or related to, someone of influence in the
organization 

I can tell you live in NM - I live a few miles S of Taos, in Dixon,
and this is SO right-on for this area!! Quite frustrating at times,
but as you say, it really does help if you ‘work the system’. My
tactic is to try to encourage whatever competencies I do encounter
in these folks, and live with the rest, and as you say, try to find
out who your contact is that will help you work with the group.

Ivy


#7

silani -

I was at a show recently that was pretty bad, except for the work
of one person who I happened to know. I asked her why she was there
surrounded by all this bad stuff. With a gleam in her eye she told
me that she was having an amazing day and guessed that the rest was
only making her work stand out all the more. 

that’s why, when an application has a line for ‘space preference’, i
always answer “next to or near other jewelers.”

but in answer to your other well thought out points, the lowest
piece i have is $100.00 and there wouldn’t be enough impulse buying
mothers to make it worthwhile. plus, the likelihood of being seen by
one or more of the people who have seen me in the artists’ section
all the other years is great and any explanation i could give would
sound weak and i wouldn’t want to get drawn into the long version of
this mess - a short version might make them wonder what i really did
to warrant demotion.

as to retribution for ms shani, over the years when people cause, or
try to cause, problems for me without provocation they are already on
a self made downward spiral and i just wait for the crash. it almost
always comes. lastly, i am forced to be calm about the injustice done
to me: i’ve run out of pencils.

thanks for the input -
ive


#8

I don’t think Ms. Shani can be confined to any geographical or
cultural area. She is representative of a whole class of what is
euphemistically referred to as ‘administrative assistants’ whose sole
role in an organization is to triage people who appear at their desks
and prevent them from going any further. They are prevalent in the
civil service where their favorite activity is to deny qualified
people food stamps, or disability, or welfare. Insurance companies
employ them too. They deny claims and don’t let you go any further up
the ladder to substantiate those claims. They are the dragons at the
gate when you want to register a complaint about service at some
companies. You can’t get past them. They are there to frustrate. It
is their job, and they do it well. It requires a rigid personality,
little imagination, a sense of great self-importance, and a sadistic
pleasure in making people jump through hoops or squirm. You cannot
deal with them. They have to be bypassed by any means you can devise.
Once you get past them, your road will be clear.

Dee


#9

dee -

They are prevalent in the civil service 

you certainly jogged my memory, i was a gs-11, and yes now i recall
the defense area was plastered with that ilk. she obviously never
learned that a good administrator is one who follows two cardinal
rules: “never raise your voice and remember that you are in place to
make the road smooth, not to be a road block.”

thanks for the reminder -

ive

who, as public safety commissioner, advised the police department,
“the law is a tool, not a weapon.”


#10

Ive,

As an old political activist, I know how persuasive a tide of
letters, emails, and phone calls can be when sent to a person in a
decision-making position. Perhaps a well-written letter of complaint
sent to the board members of the Art League could inform them that
their new director may be sabotaging the show’s quality by excluding
certain popular artists and mis-managing the mailing lists. The
letter should be carefully crafted and made available for others to
sign and send. I’m sure other Orchid members would be willing to sign
a letter of concern about such show policies.

Ms. Shani may not be concerned about public opinion, but I’m sure
that the board of directors of the Art League would be. Bad press,
especially coming from artists and exhibitors, can kill a show. The
Sarasota Art League is most certainly a non-profit, and the board of
directors is public record.

Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107
@Douglas_Zaruba


#11
I can tell you live in NM - I live a few miles S of Taos, in Dixon 

Hi, neighbor!

Yes, I am a recent arrival to the original Las Vegas, maybe 60 miles
south of you. I have been through Dixon on the way to the Harding
Mine.

I am not bashing the culture here, I love this place! But the rules
are different, and as Ive says about Florida, woe unto the newcomer
who comes on the scene announcing that it was done differently where
they came from. And rightly so.

It is a phenomenon in many rural areas, and versions play out, I am
sure, everywhere from Maine to the Pacific. Old country town,
attractive to affluent urbans because it is “quaint.” So the urbans
move in, buy “historic” money-pits and do them up to the nines. But
then they notice that its not like where they came from. Their
neighbors have chickens in the back yard, and a pickup truck up on
blocks. There is no Chilis restaurant nearby. No Home Depot. And
people behave differently than they do in the big city. They are not
punctual. Time flows differently. Matters of business are treated
casually. Something must be done.

So the stage is set for a cultural struggle between the townies and
the yuppies. Often the yuppies win, and make the town over in the
image of that which they left. Later, they will complain that the
area has “lost its soul” and will look, like locusts, for greener
pastures.

To all who come to the country from the big city, I would share the
sound advice which has been shared with me and for which I am
thankful-

You are new to this place. You are the guest, not the host. Speak
little, listen much, until you understand the house rules. If it
worked where you came from, it will probably not work here. If you
moved here because you love this place, then do not seek to change
it, let it change you.

There are other list members living in the area. Perhaps we should
have a get-together?

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#12

hi noel -

If you could set up your usual display and sell your work, it may
not matter if you're technically in the "hands on" area. You're
there, and customers will find you, 

unfortunately my repeat customers are not the ‘hands on’ type.
another factor is that my least expensive piece is $100.00 and there
just isn’t the venue. as i wrote to silani: "the likelihood of being
seen by one or more of the people who have seen me in the artists’
section all the other years is great and any explanation i could give
would sound weak and i wouldn’t want to get drawn into the long
version of this mess & a short version might make them wonder what i
really did to warrant demotion.

i will miss the lost income of $2000.00 to $4000.00 on the tucson
buying trip, that was a nice return for 7 hours (used to be 6) of
’work.’

I like to express this as "the fighting is so bitter because the
stakes are so small. 

‘stakes’ - ‘brains’ - ‘intellect’ - ‘ability’ - they are all
interchangeable aren’t they, noel?

thanks for the input, it’s reassuring -
ive


#13

Ive,

Your response says it all. Of course you could not accept being in
the hands on area if you are working from ego consciousness and from
victimhood, because you would feel shamed and demoted and compelled
to tell and retell you sad story. That is an untenable and unsavory
position to be in, and therefore impossible.

"the likelihood of being seen by one or more of the people who have
seen me in the artists' section all the other years is great and
any explanation i could give would sound weak and i wouldn't want to
get drawn into the long version of this mess & a short version
might make them wonder what i really did to warrant demotion. 

What I was suggesting was something quite different, but it would
involve bringing quite a different aspect of self into the game.
That self would not be shamed, but would be interested in finding a
way to make it work, because it would be important to not only make
money, but make contact with former customers. Everyone by now has
been caught in bureaucratic hassles, so it is not a shameful thing.
It’s even something to make jokes about.

How could you have made it into a win-win, interesting day? If you
saw it as a challenge rather than a demotion and enlisted the very
people that the “hands on” area is for…children…it could
possibly have had a different outcome. Employing a few kids with
elves hats distributing fliers informing people that you weren’t in
your usual spot (lightly passed off as a bureaucratic mixup) but were
looking forward to seeing them anyway, and that with every piece
bought you would either be giving a child a lesson, or a small charm
or bracelet, or some money to a children’s fund, or anything that
showed an interest in children, there would be no shame in being
there. It would not be a demotion. You would, in fact, be operating
on a larger possibility of self which took for granted that you are
an accomplished jeweler (and that people can see that), AND you are
interested enough in maintaining contact with people to accept
another space and play with it, rising above victimhood to see where
that takes you.

Essentially, shame and victimhood aren’t much different in terms of
creating possibility than an overly bureaucratic stance. This isn’t
meant as a criticism. I’m simply trying to clarify what I was saying
in the first place, and I hope you find a way to make up the lost
sales and get to Tucson.

You did name the thread “reality check” so I hope you don’t mind
discussing other possible realities.

Silani


#14

lee -

You are the guest, not the host. Speak little, listen much, until
you understand the house rules... 

might i add this to your excellent advice to newbies: when you go in
for a plumbing permit you will learn, to your dismay, that the driver
of a pickup truck you cut off for a parking space last week is the
city’s plumbing and electrical inspector (and stands between you
getting rid of your propane lanterns and hooking up your indoor
plumbing.

as to the original road block, ms shani, it appears that i am not
the only recipient of her ‘my way or no way’ management practices, i
said even before hearing of the grumbles from others about her, i’ll
stand back and wait to hear the crash.

ive


#15

Man, I just can’t help myself. This thread has managed to insult
northerners, rural culture, newbies trying to do their jobs, civil
servants in general, and let’s see, have I missed anything else?

I read the original post and thought - now there’s a strategy for
success: 1) conjure up the most condescending tone of voice you can,
2) take on someone who probably was not responsible for the missing
application, whom you know is in a position to help grant or reject
your request, and who is also completely unqualified to assess your
work, 3) insult her, 4) fling at her your contemptuous challenge to
assess it anyway, 5) expect her to do the work to unearth your
history with the show, and 6) be surprised when she shuts you down
completely!

I do not see a lack of intelligence at play here (by Ms Shani.) If
she had been a bit less green she might have asked for your info,
said ‘I’ll see what I can do,’, and bumped it upstairs. But she was
in no position to break the rules herself. And as anyone who’s ever
tried to talk their way out of a speeding ticket will tell you, a
snide attitude won’t help.

Why label her lacking in brains? Try ‘new at the job.’ If a stranger
attacked you at your new job would you cave in or dig in your heels
& stick to the only rules you knew?

The obvious and sensible observation was made by Silani - when you
encounter an organizational obstacle that you would like to overcome,
politely go above its head. And by the by, if you cannot produce a
record of your requests for the application it is not their
obligation to believe you - your quality of work and history at the
show notwithstanding.

So, with all due respect…

was my position unreasonable?

Maybe/maybe not, but your approach certainly was

was i treated unjustly? 

No, you were not

 was ms shani, with her very recent appearence on the scene,
correct in refusing to give me a quiet grandfathering into the
artists' section? 

Yes she was. She didn’t know you from Adam and had no reason to (and
in fact an obligation not to) give in to your pressure without
explicit permission from her boss/es.


#16
You would, in fact, be operating on a larger possibility of self
which took for granted that you are an accomplished jeweler (and
that people can see that), AND you are interested enough in
maintaining contact with people to accept another space and play
with it, rising above victimhood to see where that takes you.

Yes, Silani, I agree and understand what you are saying. This
approach would involve working beyond how things appear and require
that we have an intention of the outcome. All things work for good.
That means you can never tell what good can come out of a situation
that appears to have nothing positive about it, and sometimes it
makes sense in retrospect. Ive, Not doing the show guarantees the
outcome of not making money. Doing the show, there is no information
until you do it to know how you would do.

I understand how you feel about the issue of how you would be
perceived being in the hands on area, and I think if you chose to see
it from another perpective, if you see any possibility of anything
positive about being in the show, focus on that and make your best
effort.

Please understand that sometimes the story we tell is just a story,
and it is our perspective, not necessarily the truth. Do you ever
have someone you know tell you what is happening to them, and you can
see that what is happening to them is directly related to their
behavior and they cannot see that? Happens to my friends all the
time, but not to me. Ha HA, just kidding!

I have learned that events that seem to put me in a situation that I
do not like require navigation and negotiation. Navigation to get
from where I am to where I feel need to be, and negotiation to find a
way to get what I think I need from another person. One thing more. In
negotiation I have learned that when someone offers you something,
replying " That will not work for me, is there any other option you
can think of to help me achieve my goal."

Sometimes the person knows something that can help you, they just do
not realize it. I have literally said “What is the question I am not
asking that will give me the answer I need, I know you can help me if
I ask the right question.”

Richard Hart


#17
Man, I just can't help myself. This thread has managed to insult
northerners, rural culture, newbies trying to do their jobs, civil
servants in general, and let's see, have I missed anything else? 

Now, I can’t help myself. I adore the written word but am constantly
surprised at how active the reader’s participation is in the final
interpretation. If anyone thinks reading is passive; it is not. I am
also usually surprised at the conclusions I make about a person based
on how they “read” something.

Yes, actually you have missed something quite major: an established,
talented artist was denied access to a show, with which the artist
has considerable history, because a bot working in the administrative
side, chose (CHOSE) to not facilitate or even explore a mutually
beneficial solution.

Do not for one minute think that Sarasota’s Art League doesn’t
equally suffer at the hands of Ms. Shani. Soon their show will be
prefaced with “I have been coming for years, but it isn’t what is
once was…”

So what if it was one artist or twenty? Ms. Shani works for an art
league; an art league holding their annual juried show. If I received
a call from an artist who hadn’t received an application despite
having been in the show for years, I would immediately wonder what
was wrong with my database. I certainly would not hold up the
database as the beginning, middle and end of all judgments. I would
have escalated it immediately for two reasons: 1) to have a plan of
action in case other artists were in the same boat; 2) because I work
for the League and the quality of their show matters to the overall
integrity of the League. To what shall we attribute Ms. Shani’s
refusal to do anything? It certainly can not be because she is new.
New employees ask more questions; not less.

As for northerners and civil servants:

  1. I was born and raised in Manhattan, Cozumel Mexico and Key West
    Florida. There is a huge difference between the north and south; as
    there is a difference between California and New York. It is neither
    good or bad - - it is just different. As a northerner, I took no
    offense to the post; in fact, I laughed because it was so true. It
    used to take me two weeks to acclimate when going back and forth
    between NYC and Key West.

  2. Civil Servants: Sorry, but you are asking me to defend a group
    that is, at this very moment, holding seven million people hostage in
    NYC. If you have not experienced how easy it is to stereotype civil
    servants, then, you have been fortunate. I can not say the same. When
    a person has a guaranteed job, apathy sets in. When that person has a
    guaranteed job but finds it unrewarding; I think it is safe to say
    that they take it out on the “customer” more than most people who
    could be fired.

I think you failed to do one very simple thing when you read the
initial post: You failed to put yourself in the artist’s shoes. There
was no recognition of how unnerving it is to have your livelihood put
at the mercy of another. You failed to appreciate the distress being
caused not only by the sudden loss of expected income and exposure to
established clients; but also by the limitations that loss sets on
the Tucson trip. Interestingly enough, you seemed to align yourself
with the administrative side.

You also projected a tone of voice onto the author that I didn’t. I
assumed the author to be professional when dealing with Ms. Shani,
but wonderfully expressive when relaying the frustration to Orchid. I
appreciated the humor injected despite what a set-back the whole
situation was… but, that is just me and how I read the initial
post.

And, for the record, I read subsequent posts as a sharing of
comparable frustrations and notes of empathy/sympathy.

Cameron


#18

Ive…

this might be a little late, am so far behind on reading all my
orchid emails!!!

I know you don’t want to do the “hands-on” section, and I totally
understand your reasoning… but… do you have a mailing list from
previous shows? You could send out a mailer to your repeat customers
telling them of your new location and offer them a repeat show
discount if they come see you in the new location. Everyone likes a
discount and you’d be turning lemons into lemonade. Maybe you don’t
make 2-4 grand, but if the show isn’t too expensive…

Also, by not doing the show are you burning a bridge? Perhaps
hurting your chances of participating next year? I know it’s a
terrible situation to be in and I feel for you. But maybe if you try
and make nice with the unagreable Ms. Shani, a nice letter
apologizing for the “miscommunication” (even though she could have
handled the situation much better, by perhaps taking the time to look
into it instead of throwing up the wall of china), and praising the
show and how successful you’ve been and how much you’ve enjoyed it in
the past, yadda yadda yadda… I know it’s a little hard to swallow
but this woman might continue to throw up road blocks in the future.
You know what they say: “keep your friends close and your enemies
closer”. It’s worth a shot.

Your work is really beautiful and unique and I know if I was a past
customer interested in purchasing another piece I’d make the effort
to seek you out…

Good luck!
-Amery

P.S. Your email was very well written and amusing-- your situation
wasn’t but your account of it was highly entertaining! I might have
to use the pencil reference myself in the future!


#19

hello again silani -

Your response says it all. Of course you could not accept being in
the hands on area if you are working from ego consciousness and
from victimhood, because you would feel shamed and demoted and
compelled to tell and retell you sad story. That is an untenable
and unsavory position to be in, and therefore impossible. 

ego consciousness… victimhood… shamed and demoted and compelled

??? oops, sorry the last definition those who know me would use
would be ‘victim’ or ‘shamed’ - i laid the situation out on orchid to
get feedback on my perception of the whole mess as avoidable, handled
poorly, and not reflecting well on a group that professes to exist
solely for furtherment of art in all forms - i’ve been a dues paying
part of that group for several years. as to “shame”, i had been
juried into the show every time but did not receive an application as
in previous years - i was missing from ‘the data base’. ms shani, in
her four months on the job, did not feel she should have to waste her
time checking past records to verify my claim of having been in the
show from the beginning because, she stated, i “had missed the
deadline printed on the application” that i had not received even
after several voice mail attempts to obtain one. the error was not
mine, my efforts for a quiet resolution were cut off, ms shani had
every opportunity to rectify it quietly and fairly but amazingly put
up a brick wall of resistance for reasons known only to her. she may
have some credentials from new york city for ‘hosting’ this and that
art event, but ‘arts day’ is not an event to which she can allow only
those of her chosing. i have yet to see qualifications to warrant her
holding a post of authority. as i posted earier, good managers
understand they are their job is to make the road smoother, not put
up road blocks.

actually my refusal was based on several years of experience at that
show, knowing the attendees; very little of my market is in the
’hands on’ section; my repeat customers will look for me in the
artists’ area where i’ve been for years - not in the 'hands on’
section. the only “sad story” is the economics: i am not going to
waste my severely limited supply of time preparing, setting up, being
time there, and then packing up, for a greatly reduced return on that
time.

so, while your evaluation and conclusions might be on target for a
less confident person, in my case they aren’t on the same page or
even in same book; paraphrasing johnny cochran at the o.j. trial:
“the conclusions don’t fit and i’m not gonna sit” in the 'hands on’
section. it makes no sense to go to ‘hands on’ and leave with hands
empty.

ive


#20

I am amazed by the tenacity of some human minds to completely
disregard the terms and conditions that are established, possibly
arbitrary, yet generally accepted.

I have a retail store and we have a policy posted on the wall by the
register, on the receipt, and on the credit card receipt that states
"return for exchange only". Seems pretty clear, does it not? It is the
common return policy for small businesses. Rarely does a customer
have a problem.

Yet somehow, some customers disagree with our policy, after they
have made a purchase. I explain it is our business, and it is the
policy we have established, it is our right, and once a purchase is
made, we have no obligation to refund.

I explain that they as the customer, have an obligation to pay
attention to terms and conditions of the business they are doing
business with and if they do not like the terms, don’t do business
there, do not make it my responsibility that you choose to not pay
attention.

I then ask them to please explain to me, that knowing the terms we
have established for our business, and that we can not afford the
time to re-inventory and restock items, it is not built into our
pricing structure and we offer exchange as a courtesy why they are
special and deserve a refund… they always have an answer of why
they think I should change my policy for them. One said because her
husband is a police officer. One said that our prices were to high
and she would never do business with our store and she thought we
were ripping people off. (this was before I agreed to give a
refund!!!). This is in direct contrast to the customers that
constantly tell us how great our quality and prices are.

In the case of Ive and the art show, Did you miss the deadline? I f
you did, and that it is established policy that there is a cut off
date, explain the logic of why having done the show previously, you
feel you should get some special privilege to circumvent the policy
that all other participants must follow? That one point is the deal
breaker.

That you feel that you are owed because of past participation and
that your work is getting better has no bearing on whether you should
be admitted to the show after the deadline. Your “logic” is not
logical. When something happens to me, when I have an exchange like
you had with Ms. Selani, and I don’t get what I needed, I always ask
myself, was there a behavior i could I have used that might have
resulted in me getting what I want. I do know that judgement,
criticism, and assigning blame do not usually work. Please excuse my
perception, but it appears that to myself and obviously others on
this forum, that’s what you were doing. For some strange reason, what
is logical and rational to me might not be logical and rational to
the other person. Sometimes this happens even between people that
live together…

If we are going to post on this forum, and get feedback, we might
want to try to be objective about what we read, so we can learn and
grow, since that seems to be part of the process so we don’t continue
to do the same thing over and over that does not work.

I find it hard to not be defensive sometimes when I am pissed off
about something, and when my Dear Sweet Wife keeps telling me that I
am being defensive, I don’t know why, it just pisses me off more. So
I have learned (sometimes) that when I am pissed off, I am being
defensive.

Richard Hart, a legend in my own mind.