Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 AAW symposium - Saturday report

Another busy day of wood turning fun and fellowship today. Well, actually, it's early Sunday morning as I write this post, so you know I must be enjoying myself. Saturday went by in a huge blur, but there were some interesting sessions and conversations sprinkled through the day. I spent quite a lot of time looking through my camera viewfinder - mostly in "street photography" mode, trying to capture the action in the instant gallery and trade show.

The excellence and purchase awards were given out today. I can't remember all the different ones off the top of my head, but I do know that Peter Exton and Irene Graffert received purchase awards. Jon Sauer, Dewey Garrett, and Dixie Biggs received excellence awards. I'll have to review the pics I took to come up with the other three excellence award winners.

The session I attended in full today was called, "The case against the vessel," which was led by Peter Exton, Bill Luce and Marilyn Campbell. The focus was an article by the same title written by Peter Exton for Turning Points. In this article, Peter stated that we have not yet reached the potential of the lathe in terms of innovation; that we have reached a dead end with the vessel as the apex of our art form. The discussion following the statements by the panelists was very interesting. Some of the major points made were that we haven't yet explored all the potential of the vessel; wood turners do not have an educational foundation in design and the basics of art, which other artists working in glass or ceramics usually have, and similar other statements. I do hope that the panelists will contribute an article to the AAW journal to summarize some of the discussion from this session.

The banquet and auction took place during the evening. Awards for chapter newsletters and websites were given, as were the awards for the chapter collaborative challenges. I'm sorry to report that I don't know the details, because that was when I chose to excuse myself for a trip to the ladies room (TMI?). Next, however, were the Lifetime achievement awards - first to Giles Gilson as a belated award from last year. He wasn't able to attend last year, but we were glad to have him with us this year. The lifetime achievement award for this year was given to Mark Lindquist. Each of these awards was accompanied by a short video clip from a soon-to-be released DVD in the "Masters of Woodturning" series.

The auction was conducted by John Hill with Rob Wallace as a relief auctioneer. Bidding was rather subdued this year and winning bid amounts reflected this. My sphere piece did ok, but about $1000 under market value. Most of the the highest bids were in under market value and some of the pieces were bid embarrassingly low. The proceeds of this auction go to the Educational Opportunity Grants program. I wonder what impact this type of result will have on artists for future donations? I gave a piece this year because I haven't donated in a few years and I wanted to contribute something back to the community who supports me as an artist. I think most of the artists do it for the same reason, but when bid prices are so far below market value, it probably does have some impact on the perceived worth of an artists' work. It's something to think about, and I had a long conversation with a board member of the Collectors of Wood Art along these lines.

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