I walked into the studio and was met by one of the resident artists. A real nice guy. We chatted for about 10 minutes waiting for the director to show up. The friendly guy mentioned they like to run the studio with 20 resident artists. I mentioned I am not really an artist but a hobbyist. The friendly guy said not to worry there were no professional artists at the studio. It is too small to accommodate real working potters. They're all hobbyists I was assured.
The director showed up and quickly escorted me to an office. He asked if I had brought samples of my work. The director and I had emailed back and forth and he never mentioned that I should bring any work. I told him no I hadn't brought any. He asked if I had brought pictures. No, he hadn't mentioned those either - he had said to come by for a visit. I told him I had some pictures posted on my blog - I guided him to this blog. He quickly scanned the blog and I mean scanned, he just scrolled through so fast I couldn't describe any pots before they were off screen and he certainly wasn't reading anything. He turned to me and announced I would be required to take several classes offered by the studio prior to being made a member. My work needed more work. And I guess this douchebag could tell by his nano second scan of my blog.
He then started to lecture me about not bringing a CD of my portfolio of work. The CD he never mentioned in his emails. I quickly stopped him and told him I am not a professional potter. I am a hobbyist. I am not creating a body of work. I am having fun. He grew even more condescending. Clearly I didn't understand what it took to work in a group environment - forget that I have been doing so for years and my current studio is doing things like cutting my dues to $0 in an attempt to keep me there - I would be expected to contribute to the studio. Something the director had in his literally less than 5 minute interview of me he had decided I was not capable of doing. He had decided I had nothing to contribute without having asked me a single question, other than if I had brought samples of my work or a CD. He needed to let me know my perceived deficiencies.
I gave the condescending prick an opportunity to atone for his rude treatment of me - "Any questions?" I asked. Nope, his lecture of me was enough to stoke his ego. No questions about about me at all. As I got up to leave he mentioned that they currently have 15 resident artists - 5 short of what the friendly guy said is their preferred run rate.
Your studio is not a gallery. You're not curating SAM, you're not making admissions decisions at an MFA program, you're running a pottery studio. Stop being so arrogant. Freeze out hobbyists at your own peril. In a down economy turning your back on those of us who can afford a fairly expensive hobby is one sure fire way to run short of money. Don't be rude and abusive to customers - and yes, I was a customer you moron. I was going to pay you money every month. Now I will find somewhere else to pay for my pottery fix. The loss is yours.
Before I got home I had an email from the director. His tone tells me he knows he fucked up. I have not been treated with such utter disdain and lack of respect by anyone in the arts since I got back into pottery. Not once. Not even remotely close to the level of naked contempt this guy had for me. How dare a hobbyist think he can share studio space with the likes of you.
Oh, and your iron reds and copper reds suck. But hey what do I know? ;)