American Gourd Society

2018 Artistry Award

By Bonnie Gibson and Kristy Dial

The Artistry Award is a special award to honor and recognize some of our fantastic artists and their beautiful gourd creations. Because there are thousands of art entries in many different AGS gourd shows, the Artistry Award acknowledges the best of the best. If you won a People’s Choice, Best of Show award, or you entered in a non-judged Grand Masters category in a 2018 AGS sanctioned event you are eligible to submit your award winning creation. You also must be a current AGS member.

What do you receive if you win? A cash award of $300 plus the photo of your art on the cover of The Gourd Magazine! You also get some extra copies of the magazine to use for “bragging rights”. Note:  ALL entries will be shown in the Spring 2019 Gourd Magazine.

You can’t win if you don’t enter! Winners are responsible for sending in qualifying entries.There is no cost to enter . The deadline for submission is December 1, 2018. Please indicate at what show and what award was earned to qualify your entry. Send up to three photos of your winning piece with a bit of information about how the piece was created and brief bio information on the artist. (The judges will only see the photos and a short description of the gourd construction.) We require photos that are of the largest size possible for quality reproduction in the magazine, and photos without award ribbons are preferred. You may send in your entries at any time as soon as the event is finished.
** Show Chairs, please urge, push, nag your Best of Show and People's Choice award winners to submit their winning pieces for this AGS award. If your show has a designated photographer, ask him or her to photograph these gourds specifically for entry in this contest. If possible, have the judges include a note on the winner's entry card reminding them to submit it for the award. (Or attach a copy of this article.) Help promote your show and its winners by getting them to enter the 2018 Excellence in Gourd Artistry award.

Submissions: You may send your photos by email to: bonnie@arizonagourds.comPlease do not embed the photos into the body of the email or in a pdf, send them as a jpg photo attachment. (Embedded emails are not high quality and do not reproduce well). Emailed entries are preferred but you may also mail your entry. Please note, because printed photos must be scanned, the photo quality will not be as good as an original digital file. To mail in entries, please send them to:
Bonnie Gibson, Artistry Award
5930 N Camino Arizpe
Tucson, AZ 85718-4612

Help fund this award. This award is funded solely by donations!  The American Gourd Society is accepting donations to fund this award, and your donation is fully tax deductible. Please go to to make your donation. We hope that with donations from membership and gourd chapters, we can sustain this award and possibly expand it to awards for 2nd and 3rd places in the future.

The details: Multiple entries from a chapter are allowed when they are received from two or more separate competitions. All chapter shows should be judged using AGS standards and judges as much as possible. Entries from chapter shows that are combined with woodworking events are allowed as long as they are in a separate gourd category and are judged using AGS judges and guidelines.

Only ONE Best of Show entry will be allowed from each event. Some chapters are awarding "Best of Show" ribbons instead of awarding a "Best of Division". Show chairmen might consider either changing the title of their awards, or have their show judges select which of the division winners should be submitted as "Best of Show".

A People's Choice award is a "popular choice" award determined by voting from the general public instead of judges.

Non-judged Grand Masters is a category reserved for those who have won a Best of Show or People's Choice in previous shows, or are at a high level and consistently show their works in art galleries

Judging:To maintain impartiality and to make the voting as fair as possible, the judging is done by 2 gallery owners (non-gourd artists) and by 3 members of the Artistry Award committee, who are nationally recognized gourd artists who were appointed to the committee by the AGS. Each judge sees a private web page with photos of each entry and information about the construction of the piece (if provided by the entrant). Each entry is identified only by a letter designation, and all judging is done independently from the other judges. The committee chair does not vote, but tabulates the results fromthe 5 judges. Low and high scores for each piece are discarded, and the middle three scores are added for each piece to decide the final scoring.If you have comments or concerns about the competition, please contact the committee chair, Bonnie Gibson, at bonnie@arizonagourds. We welcome your suggestions for qualified gallery judges or professional level gourd artists that might wish to judge or serve on the committee in the future.

© 2018 American Gourd Society, Inc. All rights reserved. The American Gourd Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.