[Ansteorra] What makes a favorite event?

Mystique Mystique at phulesgold.com
Mon Jan 21 11:21:29 PST 2008

I am in agreement about the A&S being mundane.. I am in full agreement with 
Cariadoc of the Bow's  coments and opinions on this. There should NOT be a 
reqirement for DOCUMENTATION.. for your artwork.

To quote::  One problem with arts contests is that they are, as a rule, among 
the most unmedieval events we hold. Most, in my experience, feel more like a 
modern debate tournament than like anything from the Middle Ages. While this may 
not be inevitable, it is at least difficult to avoid. At an arts contest we are 
judging not only the quality of the works submitted but also their authenticity. 
It is hard to do so without judges and entrants discussing what was or was not 
done in period. But any such discussion forces us to look at the Middle Ages 
from the outside, not the inside-as twentieth century students of the period, 
not as medieval people. No medieval judge evaluated art works, and no medieval 
craftsman defended them, according to whether or not they were authentically 

 A related problem is the tendency in arts contests to judge works on 
documentation, instead of, or in addition to, judging them on authenticity. 
Obviously, if the artist has reason to expect the judges to make a mistake-if he 
knows something about the authenticity of his work which they probably do not 
know-it is up to him to pass on the information. But the requirement for 
documentation in arts contests often goes much further than that. Artists are 
expected to provide evidence to the judges of things that the judges ought to 
know if they are competent to judge the work, such as what verse forms were used 
in period. Documentation is treated as an objective in itself, rather than as 
evidence for the authenticity of the work. In some cases-exotic dancing, for 
example-entrants get credit for documentation even if all the documentation 
shows is that neither the entrant nor anyone else knows enough to tell what was 
or was not being done in period. In effect, the artist is being judged partly as 
an artist and partly as an amateur scholar. I can think of few better ways of 
discouraging the arts than to require that every work be accompanied by a term 

This is from his website:: 

I'm not writing a damn report to PROVE my work is period.. if a person who is 
judging the items doesn't know.. he/she shouldn't be a judge.. if they know some 
things, then get with the artist prior and discuss it. If anything is needed on 
paper.. then maybe a book the artist may have available that shows the process 
or a VERY MINOR, simple paper listing what/where the "proof" can be found. If an 
artist had to make something and couldn't use 100% authentic materials.. then 
they could put a small document stating that with the item.. Basically, only 
documents I see that should be with an item is perhaps a description of perhaps 
tools used in the process, materials used and maybe give a "viewer" info like 
how long it takes to create such and such item.

This is the main reason no one in my family will ever enter our A&S into 
competition. We did enjoy the A&S "competetion" that was at BAM.. where peeps 
simply displayed their works.. and you were handed a token to drop into a 
container next to the work you liked the most. People decided for themselves 
what they felt was good, period and well done.

One thing I haven't really seen at the few events we have attended so far here 
in Ansteorra, are people sitting at their campsites actually making things.. 
other than a few merchants who do stuff at their booths or an occassional lady 
seamstress doing something while watching fighting and such.  Both in Atlantia 
and Drachenwald at every event people were all over doing their actual crafts.. 
leather, wood, bone, sewing, cooking (for others to taste), caligraphy.. It was 
at an event in Drachenwald where my husband learned bone work from a man sitting 
at a table near his campsite.. not far from the lists.. working on bone. Another 
event had a class for bone work he took to get more info.

Maire O'Halowrane


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <willowdewisp at juno.com>
To: <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 12:16 PM
Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] What makes a favorite event?

I want it know that while I stated that I didn't personally like some things 
like A&S  contest that are very mundane. I liked the faire more flakiest contest 
we used to have at event. I can't tell you what are the difference but the 
contest at Lions I found fun. There is something cold about the way we do things 
now. I liked interacting with the people more.

Willow de Wisp 

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