When submitting work to juried exhibitions, I usually prefer shows that are non-themed. I feel that this often allows me to feature my best work without having to strain to add spurious interpretations onto existing pieces. Rarely, I will create a new work to fit the theme of an upcoming show, but more often than not deadlines are too tight for that. And to be honest, sometimes I chafe a little at the idea of tailoring my muse to fit someone else’s ideas unless I happen find them unusually compatible to my own.
Sometimes though, a theme will be general enough for me to come up with a selection of work that seems tailor-made for it. This happened recently with a show sponsored by the Media (Pa.) Arts Council. The theme, which was “passage,” could be interpreted in many ways, both literal and conceptual, allowing me identify a good number of appropriate paintings. The result was that all three of my choices were accepted into the show.