5th Annual Gualala Salon & Salon des Refusés

North Coast Artists Guild

Juried & judged exhibit

Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 5 pm to 7 pm. Exhibit remains through Sunday, December 31

Burnett Gallery & Elaine Jacob Foyer


To participate, complete a “Gualala Salon” registration form and submit to Gualala Arts by November 20, 2017. Artists will deliver their work to the Gualala Arts Center on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, between 10 am and 3 pm. Art is to be picked up on January 1, 2017, between 10 a.m. and 3 pm.

The Gualala Salon is made possible by the generous donations of
Jack Chladek, Sharon Nickodem, and other notable sponsors.

Le Salon de 1824, by François-Joseph Heim
Le Salon de 1824, by François-Joseph Heim

Gualala Salon & Salon des Refusés: The Gualala Salon exhibit is a juried and judged fine art show. The purpose of this exhibit is to showcase outstanding visual art and artists without regard to the type of media. Three prizes for artwork in the Gualala Salon will be awarded by the judge as follows: First Place $1,000, Second Place $750, Third Place $500.

All work submitted will be juried by the judge into the Gualala Salon (accepted work) or the Salon des Refusés (rejected work). Accepted work will be exhibited in the Burnett Gallery and will be eligible for the First, Second and Third Place awards. Rejected work will be exhibited in the Elaine Jacob Foyer and elsewhere throughout the Gualala Arts Center, and will be eligible for the People’s Choice Awards of $100, $75, and $50. Every visitor to the exhibition will be asked to vote for three favorite pieces in the Salon des Refusés.

In this way, all art submitted and all artists will be represented in the exhibit, either in the Gualala Salon proper or in the Salon des Refusés. In addition, there will be a special Judges Award of $100 for the best work by an artist under eighteen years of age.

Attendees at the opening reception for the Gualala Salon and Salon des Refusés will get to eat the cakes from the Let Them Eat Cake! Fine Art Cake Contest and wash their cake down with free champagne.

About the Salon

Gualala Salon has its origins in the annual Paris Salon sponsored by the French government and the Academy of Fine Arts. The Salon began in 1725 and became a showcase of the best academic art. A medal from the Salon was assurance of a successful artistic career; winners were given official commissions by the French government, and were sought after for portraits and private commissions. In those days exhibiting in the Salon was one of the only means artists had of marketing their work and therefore exclusion from its annual selling exhibition threatened their reputation and livelihood.

Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, by Édouard Manet
Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, by Édouard Manet

In 1748, a jury of awarded artists was introduced. From this time until 1890, the Salon was considered the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world. The Salon exhibited paintings floor-to-ceiling and on every available inch of space. Printed catalogues of the Salons are primary documents for art historians. Critical descriptions of the exhibitions published in the gazettes marks the beginning of the modern occupation of art critic.

The Gualala Salon and corresponding Salon des Refusés are inspired by the original Salon des Refusés held in 1863 of the refused artwork by the official Paris Salon. The exhibition was ordered by Emperor Napoleon III after the outcry caused by the number of rejections. The increasingly conservative and academic juries were not receptive to the new Impressionist painters, whose works were usually rejected, or poorly placed if accepted. Some were rejected from the ‘official’ exhibition because their works were considered by the committee too subversive and some even thought that these artists posed a danger to society.

In 1863, artists and their supporters protested vehemently after so many paintings were rejected; only 2,217 paintings out of the more than 5,000 submitted were accepted. Eventually to quell the furor, Napoleon came to view the rejected works and then asked the committee to reconsider its selection. When they refused, he decreed that the public be given the opportunity to view them in a rival exhibition and a tradition of Salon des Refugés was born.

Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, by James Whistler

More than a thousand visitors a day visited the Salon des Refusés. The journalist Emile Zola reported that visitors pushed to get into the crowded galleries where the refused paintings were hung, and the rooms were full of the laughter of the spectators. Critics and the public ridiculed the refusés, which included such now-famous paintings as Édouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe and James McNeill Whistler’s Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl.

Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, and Berthe Morisot were also participants in the first Salon des Refugés. This exhibit legitimized the newly emerging forms of avant-garde art, and paved the way for the even more shocking style of Impressionism. Ironically the artists included in the officially sanctioned 1863 Salon have completely disappeared and their work remains in obscurity.

We respect the Gualala Salon judge’s decisions and understand that being selected to exhibit in the Gualala Salon Exhibition is a great honor and privilege, and we also understand that the Burnett Gallery space is limited and a lot of good artwork has to be rejected. We want those works to still be on show throughout Gualala Arts Center as part of the Salon de Refusés. We hope this rather novel approach will appeal to the judge, the artists and to the audience!