ANST - My impressions of Kingdom A&S...

Pug Bainter pug at
Mon Nov 17 06:45:39 PST 1997

Good Morning,

  I apologize if this gets too long. I am writting what I've been
  mulling over with myself and others since I attended Kingdom A&S. I
  hope it all makes sense.

  My first impression was of the shear amount of the art being displayed
  and performed. (Actually this was my second. the first was of how many
  people present I knew, but that one isn't quite relevant.) There was
  row after row of tables, not to mention two sides of the hall, with
  very different arts being displayed on them. It took me several hours
  to go through and look the first time (in part due to stopping and
  talking to people as I went), but later in the day I realized that
  each time I walked through there was something else I didn't see the
  previous times. This doesn't even account for all of the performing arts
  that went on as part of the event, as well as Kingom Esteffad (sp?). I
  don't even know how many actually competed in these two functions, but
  it looked to be almost as many as displaying static arts.

  My second impression was of the quality of the work. While working
  through and talking to people, I found that several of them had been
  doing their art being displayed for less than a year. The quality of
  their work was at the same calibar as some of those displaying and
  have done the art for many years. This doesn't even account for the
  shock I had when I found out one of the Elizabethan/Tudor (I'm not a
  costume person) pieces had been done by a 16 year old Lady present ...
  sewen by hand ... in a week.

  Now on to some commentary I have regarding the displays and how I saw
  it being judged.

  One thing that confused me, and maybe this was just because I wasn't a
  judge so didn't see it, was that not every display had documentation or
  even a description of what you were looking at. This confused me greatly
  when I was trying to figure out what everything was from. On the other
  hand, other items had several pages of documentation regarding the topic
  at hand and was way too much information for some. (ie. me) I don't know
  if this is done or possible, but I think it would be a good idea to give
  people guidelines for how to document what they are displaying. (Maybe
  this is a drawback of not having a formal teacher/student relationship
  'cause then you *might* know what to expect to provide.)

  Another was, from what I partially saw, was that lots of judges seemed
  to give verbal commentary and not written. I would be quite useful to
  the student of the art to actually have some of the information
  transfered to be written down so they can refer to it again later.
  This may have been different among different judges and I tried not to
  pay too close attention during the judgings. As well, this is a minor
  issue since at least they were trying to assist and it's easier to
  rattle things off of grab someone else to discuss it as well. I just
  think the highlights of this should be written down.

  As well, there were commentary sheets for the populace at large to
  write on for each of the entraints. Unfortunately it seemed that most
  people didn't bother doing this. Although I know I didn't wish to
  comment on topics I didn't know, I did at least take the words to
  heart of one of the new artisans present when they stated "I don't
  care if you aren't an expert. Sometimes it's just useful to have
  people say what they did and did not enjoy about something." After
  this, I made sure to go around and try to comment either verbally, or
  preferablly in writting, about the entrees that I did have enough
  knowledge about to try and help them. (Of course these were all
  vintning entries.) I did discuss some of the other items with artists
  who were at their displays though.

  As for the judging and award structure, I must say that I very much
  approve. Part of my reason for not entering "competetiions" was the
  simple fact that there was, from what I could tell, no solid feedback,
  no scale that didn't judge apples and oranges, and no way to avoid
  people feeling their might have been bias. The system used allowed for
  direct feedback to the entraint, a two-way commentary on the entry,
  and a "scoring system" that tells you how well you are doing without
  only a first place (etc) winner being found. I do think that it can be
  improved slightly by making the judges and/or entraints aware of the
  guidelines as to what is appropriate for each category and score. (I
  don't think we need hard fast rules, just some very simple guidelines.)

  Unfortunately, my lady is of the opinion that I must enter some of my
  vintning the next time around. As well, I was persuaded by one of the
  artisans whom, within his repetiour, did vintning stated something along
  the lines of "Eventhough it's not completely right nor as good as I
  wanted, I entered. Otherwise the perfectionist in me would never let
  me enter." That perfectionist in me is unfortunately losing this
  battle. (Not to mention that I chose an art that takes "too long" to
  make it perfect.)

  In closing I'd like to thank the Barony of Bonwicke for hosting the
  event and all the hard work they put into it in order to have it work
  so well, the Laurels and other artisans whom judged and commented on
  the different items - without their input the artisans displaying
  may not have been able to improve their art, and most importantly,
  the artisans whom displayed their work this weekend - these are the
  people whom help improve our Society and lives by bringing beauty into
  them. I hope to one day to be good enough to say that these people
  are my equals and peers.

  Thank you one and all.

In Service,

Phelim "Pug" Gervase  |  "If you want my views of history
Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |   then there is something you should know.
House Flaming Dog     |   The three men I admire the most are
pug at           |   Curly, Larry and Moe!" --Meatloaf
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