And the moral is: always check your spam folder!

Some weeks ago I posted about there being nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

The deadline in question was a new Open Exhibition call for entries. It’s being organised by Atelier by the Sea, a relatively new gallery space with a superb location on Brighton’s busy seafront.

The venture has a strong pedigree. Its pioneers are Jon Tutton and Sarah Young, who have years of experience behind them as the organisers of the much loved MADE London and MADE Brighton Design and Craft Fairs, as well as the Brighton Art Fair, all of which are commercially-run enterprises.

The Open exhibition is a new venture to coincide with the first year anniversary of Atelier by the Sea, as well as the peak visitor season for the City.

The Open exhibition is open-themed, and the only criteria is that artists must have some connection to Sussex, whether it’s having studied here, or to be currently living or working in the region.

The maximum number of entries allowed was four, and I submitted three paintings for consideration.

I was originally expecting to hear about whether I’d been successful or not by the following Sunday after I’d submitted my works.

This day came and went, however, and I didn’t hear a word. I did see the Atelier by the Sea Instagram account that they had been surprised by the response and that choosing from the thousands of entries was going to take longer than originally planned.

Gradually, I began to hear from other artists that they’d been told that their work had been selected, and I started to see people mentioning it on social media too. But still nothing for me!

I can’t deny that I was feeling a tad disgruntled at this point, more out of a matter of principle than anything. I’ve become well accustomed to dealing with notifications that ‘on this occasion’ my work has not been selected, but I thought it was poor form not to notify everyone that had submitted.

Another week or so passed and my partner, who had already been notified that her work had been selected and who had been busily arranging to get her works framed, asked me whether I’d checked my ‘spam folder’ in my email account. I hadn’t because I rarely ever check my spam folder! I’d also previously received emails from Atelier by the Sea so was confident that if they had sent me I message, I would have received it.

I did nevertheless have a look in my spam folder and, to my great surprise and delight, there was a thread of emails that had totally passed me by – informing me that two of my paintings had been selected!

This was obviously great news but it sent me into a complete spin as it meant I now had to get them mounted and framed in double-quick time!

The exhibition opens on the evening of Thursday 14th July and runs until the 3rd of September. It will feature about 250 works by 130 artists and is bound to be a varied and eclectic mix of subjects, styles and methods!

Here are my two submissions that made the cut!

Brighton Pavilion

(I was particularly pleased that this painting of Brighton Pavilion made the cut as this was the one that I painted on the day of the deadline!)

Sussex haybales

These are both half-sheet paintings that, when framed measure 73cms x 53cms. It’s already been explained to me that, due to the volume of works, it’s possible that only one image may be hung in the first instance, as they’ll retain some works to use to replace other pieces that sell.

What I’m naturally most delighted about however is that my works have been selected! Also, having my work in such a prominent location with such a high footfall can only be a good thing too!

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