THE SHOW GOES ON
By Don Mertz
Photos by Marc Featherly
Since the first event in 1981, Artistry in Wood has been committed to providing the best woodcarving and woodworking show for the benefit of exhibitors, vendors and visitors who come to see some of the best expression of wooden art as well as being able to purchase works of art from the woodcarving and woodworking craftsman and artist.
Every year the Artistry in Wood stays true to this original commitment by sharpening and fine tuning the show so that it continues to be THE show exhibitors and visitors will want to attend time after time. Each year the quality of competition entries improve as does the growth of vendors and eclectic mix of artistic expressions related to wood along with a steady growth in the size of the show.
The organizers of the event were placed between a rock and hard place when the show location for the prior fourteen years was suddenly closed, and had find a comparable sized show venue in a different location and show date (due to scheduling limits at the new location). Despite that, Artistry in Wood doubled its efforts to stay true to its original commitment.
So committed are the event organizers to providing the BEST Show possible for all concerned that ihe advertising budget was increased from $19,427.00 for 2015 to $30,225 for 2016 to assure all concerned that “The Show Goes On.” The show goes on to maintain the high quality of exhibitors, competitors, judges, demonstrations, children’s activities and visitors’ interests for the showing and selling of cherished works of art in the medium of wood. And just as important, the show goes on so that Artistry in Wood can continue the long tradition and commitment of giving at least $5,000 to United Rehabilitation Services of Dayton and $500 to Partners Against Crime charities.
The only venue that was large enough to accommodate a show the size that Artistry in Wood has grown to be with a convenient location within the radius of Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio was the Roberts Centre near Wilmington, OH. The only date available for 2016 was for Labor Day weekend. The Artistry in Wood committee realized that a change of location as well as date change from traditional date of previous shows and especially competing with major holiday activities, a Renaissance Festival and county fair would have an impact on regular exhibitors’ participation as well as visitors to the show. But “The Show Goes On” in order to make the transition to a new site and a new date for the 2017 and following years’ show dates. In 2017 the Artistry in Wood show will be October 14 and 15 and the second weekend in October in subsequent years in order to get back to a regular schedule for location and date for the show.
Even though there was the expected decrease in attendance and exhibitors, yet in the final analysis the evaluation by visitors, exhibitors, competitors and vendors was very positive. The Roberts Centre show room is beautifully appointed with superb lighting with more than adequate and convenient free parking and with easy access right off Interstate 71 at Exit 50. Roberts Centre is located within a fifty-mile radius from Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. Visitors were very complimentary of the venue, quality of woodcarving and woodworking art on display and the added features of demonstrations, ornament carving contest, raffle of quality prizes, silent auction of donated wooden art. Although somewhat smaller than usual, the quality of the show lived up to its reputation. Many first time visitors joined their voices of appreciation with the long time attenders.
The 2016 show was a bridge from what the show has become to what it will continue to become in 2017 and beyond at Roberts Centre the second weekend of October.
Highlights of the show begin with the competition. 278 woodcarving entries were judged by Janet Cordell, Wayne Barton and Al Fulford judged 278 woodcarving entries. Woodcarving Best of Show honors were awarded as follows:
- Steve Baker — Best of Show
- Terry Brasher — Second Best
- Harry Limings — Third Best
Sixty wood working entries were judged by Roger Hornung, Jim McCann and Larry Sanders who awarded Wood Working Best of Show to:
- Barry Todd — Best of Show
- Scott Hamilton — Second Best
- Richard Avram — Third Best.
The Special Exhibit by Scott Phillips highlighted his artistic creation of space shuttle models signed by the shuttle crews was a crowd pleaser drawing a lot of admiring attention.
The Woodcarving Illustrated Spit and Whittle Demonstrations drew crowds of visitors who delighted in the presentations by Dennis Thornton, Tom Hindes, Bruce Nicholas, Bob Heresey, Floyd Rhadigan and Jim Hiser on both Saturday and Sunday.
Artistry in Wood Demonstrators included Roger Strautman (Chip Carving) Harry Limings Jr. (Miniature Carving) Bob Travis (Carving Hair for Caricatures) Steve Pester (Sharpening Simplified) and Scott Phillips (Tools and Tips), all who entertained and informed those who attended the demonstrations.
The Caricature Carvers of America, who were present at the show for their Annual Meeting, had a three table display of caricature carvings and members conducted impromptu one-on-one demonstrations and conversations with visitors. Several CCA Members were exhibitors at their own table display.
An ornament carving contest drew a lot of attention as well as the many offerings on the Silent Auction table. Woodcarving and wood working-related used magazines were available for a donation. The Show Raffle was once again a big hit with such prizes as art work wooden vase by Mark Waninger, carving by Terry Brasher, $500 Cash, $500 Woodcraft Gift Card, Christmas Tree Ornaments, Gerstner Large Tool Box, and Gerstner Jewelry Box. The Dayton Carvers Guild also conducted a raffle of unique prizes.
Perhaps the best highlight is the sense of awe and admiration to see and purchase one-of-a-kind wood created works of art and talk with the artist at the same time. For many it is just the atmosphere of being with woodcarvers and wood workers in a friendship of creativity and mutual encouragement for what brings so much pleasure to all participants as well as vendors having for sale the supplies needed to further the art creating in wood.
Rest assured that Artistry in Wood will continue in its commitment to present the best show possible and do everything to assure that THE SHOW GOES ON at the Roberts Centre, October 14 and 15, 2017. For more information visit the Dayton Carvers Guild web site HERE