Wednesday 19 February 2014
For over half a century, the Affiliated Wood Carvers have sponsored the International Woodcarvers Congress, which is the longest running, competitively judged woodcarving show in the United States. It is truly the most prestigious show of its kind. Artists from around the world have competed for cash and awards at the 'Congress'.
Held on the second week of June, the show and competition are just a part of the festivities held during 'Congress Week'. Other activities during the week include a series of carving seminar, the awards banquet, the AWC membership meeting and the urges critique session.
The International Woodcarvers Congress offers over 85 separate categories in the judged competition. Cash awards and prizes have exceeded $20,000 in the past, thanks to a number of very generous sponsors.
The competition is judged each year by a trio of judges that are selected from professional artists from around the world. Unique to the IWG are the judges Critique Sessions, which provide an insight into the judging process. They have proven to be one of the most popular events held during Congress Week.
The competition is open to all levels of carvers. Membership in AWC in necessary to compete unless you are 18 of younger. The Congress accepts 'mail-in' entries to the contest, so you don't have to be present to win.
Each year, AWC hosts a variety of interesting and informative seminars taught by some of the foremost carvers in the world. Classes range from one day to five-day seminars. Topics include woodcarving, clay sculpting, painting, pyrography and more. They also include classes for the non-carving participant.
Impromptu gatherings of carvers during the evening hours offer many opportunities to pick up different carving techniques and perhaps a trade secret or two.
Specific seminar topics and costs are announced in the Congress Newsletter, which is sent to all paying members. They can also be accessed through the AWC website.
The Annual Awards Banquet is held on Saturday evening of Congress Week, and offers a prime opportunity to meet new friends and renew old friendships.
A number of competition awards are presented to the proud recipients during the banquet. There are raffles for prizes and classes donated by the generous sponsors.
There is no way to describe the activities of the evening other than - they know they have fun!
When: 8-15 June, 2014
Where: Jackson County Fairgrounds, 1212 East Quarry Street, Maquoketa, Iowa 52060, USA
Contact: Affiliated Wood Carvers Ltd
(PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARC FEATHERLY)
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