AN ORIGINAL ~ Dayton Artistry in Wood
By Don Mertz
Artistry In Wood is the original show by that name, first used in 1981 with its founding show. Dayton Carvers Guild established a committee to plan their first woodcarving show. Carol Kunz suggested the name Artistry in Wood for the show’s name as an overall description of the kind of show the committee would develop. The purpose of Artistry in Wood is to plan and provide the “best” carving show experience for exhibitors, vendors and visitors alike by maintaining the high qualities reflecting an “art show” dedicated to wood. From the beginning the “plan” also included that a charity should also benefit from the proceeds of the show.
Artistry in Wood is very unique in the world of carving shows in that its proceeds primarily benefit United Rehabilitation Services, which is a local charity in the Dayton area, along with Partners Against Crime. Since that first show, Artistry in Wood has contributed over $145,000.00 to charities.
Other shows may use this catchy title for their carving show but there is none that equals the ORIGINAL Artistry in Wood. The 2015 show display area was expanded to accommodate 18 additional exhibitors who would have otherwise remained on a waiting list. Always planning and working to continue this show of excellence, the AIW committee is open to making innovative improvements for the benefit of exhibitors as well as visitors to the show. We want to make each show a “once in a life time experience” that can be repeated each year with an ongoing parade of memories. Over 5,000 visitors experienced the once in a life time experience of the 2015 show.
New Location and Date For 2016
As “An Original” Artistry in Wood continues its tradition of excellence as it moves to a new location for the 2016 show. The new location is the Roberts Centre at exit 50 off Interstate 71, half way between Columbus and Cincinnati and approximated 45 miles south east of the previous show location. The reason for the move is because the Dayton International Airport decided to use the Expo Center for only airport purposes. The Roberts Centre is large enough to accommodate the size in which Artistry in Wood has grown to accommodate the number of participants and visitors.
The Roberts Centre includes a Holiday Inn with 115 rooms, a Max and Erma restaurant, concession services and adequate onsite parking. The convenience of location in an attractive and spacious Roberts Grand Ballroom will be an inviting new location for the Dayton Artistry in Wood Show.
The date for the 2016 show is September 3 and 4 (Labor Day weekend), the only available opening for the coming year. The change of date and location may present some inconvenience for participants and visitors during this transition time, but be assured that Artistry in Wood is still dedicated to maintaining its original purpose of planning and providing for the best and original woodcarving and woodworking show of its kind and benefiting its charity of choice.
Vic Hood was the Guest Artist of the 2015 show Special Exhibit. You’ll find a photo gallery of Vic and his work elsewhere in this issue of WOM.
The 2015 edition of AIW had exhibitors from 24 different states plus Canada along with over 5,000 visitors who came from all over the United States as well as Canada to view the display tables of 221 exhibitors and 26 vendors in 313 spaces.
AIW sponsors a competition in the divisions of Woodworking and Woodcarving. There were 377 entries in the Woodcarving division in 22 categories containing 65 classes. The division of Woodworking had 87 entries in 9 categories containing 23 classes.
The Best of Show winners in Woodcarving were:
- Terry Brasher from Petersburg, TN., first
- Steve Burelison from Bradford, OH, second
- Kathy Mitchell from Windsor Ontario, Canada, third
Woodworking Best of Show winners were:
- Mark Waninger from Jamestown, IN, first
- Weston Hirschfeld from New Bremen, OH, second
- Mike Allen from Bellevue, OH, third
Judges of Woodworking division were: Roger Hornung, Jim McCann and Lary Sanders and judges of Woodcarving division were Al Fulford, Janet Cordell and Rick Harney.
Visitors had the opportunity to attend educational and informative woodworking and woodcarving Demonstrations on both days with Mark Waninger, Charley Phillips and Debbie Anderson demonstrating on Saturday and Jim Willis, Don Worley and Scott Phillips demonstrating on Sunday.
Other attractions included:
- The Woodcarving Illustrated hosted series of mini Spit and Whittle Seminars
- Western Ohio Woodworkers facilitated a Youth Program of hands-on woodworking projects
- A silent auction of a variety of carved and wood worked art pieces
- An ornament carving contest where visitors could watch a new piece being created
- A magazine recycle table of wood related magazines available for a donation
- The main raffle of 124 carved ornaments, 3 donated carvings of past winners, a Gerstner Tool box and a box of 500 $1.00 gold coins
One of the special highlights of Artistry in Wood shows is always the banquet for exhibitors at which time the winner of the Ron Ryan Award is announced. Mulie Sheets was the 2015 recipient as one who exemplifies the passion and advancement of wood carving in the example of Ron Ryan. Also during the banquet a fund raising raffle is conducted for a variety of donated prizes with the proceeds helping with the $5000 gift to United Rehabilitation Services as the show’s designated charity.
The Caricature Carvers of America will hold their annual meeting in conjunction with the Dayton Artistry in Wood Show on September 3–4, 2016 and carvers and visitors alike will have the opportunity to meet and greet these caricature carvers.
The best of the 2015 show along with the best of previous years will continue in a new location and a new date for 2016 because Artistry in Wood is committed to continue all that Dayton Artistry in Wood has come to mean as “An Original.”