The other day I had to pick up my entries in our local fair. I won 2 second place ribbons in the Hobbies division and nothing in the Photographic Arts division.
Let me say this: The judges in the Hobbies division have been doing this for 20+ years. They are volunteers, not paid. They consistently choose the largest item entered regardless of skill level. For example, this year the grand prize winner was a t-shirt quilt (king size), with simple construction and was obviously sent out to someone who had a long arm quilting machine to be quilted. The item that should have won was a smaller quilt. It was a mariner’s compass quilt that requires great skill in piecing and matching points. But it did not win.
And “NO”, I did not enter a quilt in the Fair. I entered a pair of socks, my own design, and a soft sculpture dragon.
Now for the Photographic Arts: The chairperson who used to handle it quit last year after the Fair. Evidently he had a falling out with the Fair manager. The Hobbies chairperson was asked to take over the Photographic Arts and she did. But she had to get her own judges and I really feel that they did not know what they were doing.
There was a bucket load of floral photos and none of those were chosen for any ribbons. I think the new judges felt overwhelmed and chose none that had flowers in them. It appeared as if they closed their eyes and threw darts. Wherever a dart landed, that photo got a ribbon. It was very evident that the criteria was totally ignored.
Here are the photos I entered. I wish I could show you the other photos entered, but due to copyright laws I can’t do that.
I also noticed there were less entries this year…in ALL categories, throughout the Fair. Don’t know what is up with that.
At first I thought it was just me. Maybe my feelings were hurt, not getting a ribbon this year for my photos. Then I began to hear other opinions that were the same as mine…..this year’s judges had no clue as to what they were doing.
Will I enter next year? Probably, BUT I am also checking out other fairs in this area. Surely this will give me a more rounded idea as to whether or not my items are as good as I think they are.