The second Annual Delta des Refusés Exhibition will be held at the Thea Foundation, June 1 through July 29. The opening reception will be held June 17  from 5 to 8 pm. The Delta des Refusés is currently accepting entries. To qualify, the artist must have entered the current 2016 Delta exhibition and must have had all work rejected. Each artist is asked to submit one work to the show. All works submitted will be accepted and included.  You can find the entry form here.

The inaugural Delta des Refusés Exhibition was held in September of 2015 at the gallery in the Argenta Branch of the North Little Rock Library. It included 44 works of art from Arkansas artists. Each artist had applied to the Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in 2015 and had been rejected. The Delta des Refusés Exhibition stands as a counter show and an alternative to the Delta Exhibition.

It can be argued that the Delta Exhibition, which is hosted by the Arkansas Arts Center, is Arkansas’s most prestigious juried show. Open to residents of Arkansas and a handful of surrounding states, the Delta has served as a statement of artistic taste in the Mississippi Delta region since 1958. Curated by a single juror, the Delta only accepts a handful of the pieces which are submitted. This year 72 pieces from the 880 entered were accepted.

The Delta des Refusés is an artists organized exhibition to feature those artists who were rejected from The Delta Exhibition. Conceived in the spirit of the original Paris Salon des Refusés from 1863, the Delta des Refusés hopes to challenge the traditional authority of juried taste by allowing any artist who was rejected from the Delta Exhibition to exhibit in the Refusés show.

The Salon des Refusés sought to combat the Paris Salon system, which for a number of years, had been the arbiter of taste in European Art. Beyond that, the Paris Salon had established what was Art and what was not Art, thus leading to the rise of some artists careers and the fall of others. The Salon des Refusés was organized as a counter-exhibition to legitimize those works and artists which had been overlooked. Great artists such as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Gustave Courbet, and Édouard Manet participated in the exhibition.

While the results of the Delta Exhibition are not tied to the defining of Art as the Paris Salon was, the exhibition still stands as the leading juried show in Arkansas, thus setting the bar for aesthetic taste in the region. The Delta des Refusés strives to offer an alternative view of regional art, and like the Salon des Refusés, hopes to give legitimacy to artists who were not accepted into the Delta Exhibition. Led by artists and without a juror, the show embraces the ideas of freedom of exhibition and freedom of expression. It hopes to place the power of judgment in regards to taste into the hands of the public.

For more information, click here.

(Photo courtesy of Rachel Trusty)