AWA 2017 Symposium
Instant Gallery Contest

Contest Rules
  • You must be a member of the AWA to enter the Symposium Instant Gallery.

  • Entries must be presented before 2:00 PM, Saturday, 28 January.  Entries will be judged at 1:00 PM, Sunday, 29 January.  Pick-up of entries must be before the close of the Symposium 4 PM, Sunday, 29 January.

  • Please do not submit work that has been entered into previous gallery competitions. The reasons for having the Instant Gallery is to encourage turners of all skill levels to turn more, share what they did, and learn (or be inspired) from each other. A secondary objective is to receive feedback and turning advice if wanted.

  • If you are new to this kind of format, decide for yourself which level is appropriate for your work. Please place your entry when you arrive at the Symposium on the appropriate table with a completed entry form (having your name on the bottom of the piece is also helpful).  This is not an anonymous competition, but since the judges are not members of the club, the judging should be fairly impartial and unbiased.

Judged entries for the Instant Gallery can be entered into one of three categories:
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
Each category will have 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and Honorable Mention winners. There will also be a ‘Randy Farris Memorial’ Best of Show winner. 
  • Each winner will receive a laser engraved 2016 AWA Symposium Instant Gallery Winner's button.
  • 3rd place winners will receive $40 gift card to Hardware Specialties. 
  • 2nd place winners will receive $80 gift card to Hardware Specialties.   
  • 1st place winners will receive $120 gift card to Hardware Specialties.   
  • The Randy Farris Memorial - Best of Show winner will receive a $200 gift card to Hardware Specialties.   
  • If there are not enough entries in a category, the judges may combine entries into a single category (up or down).  The judges can also move entries (up or down) if they are deemed to be in the wrong category. 

The Instant Gallery should be fun. If you get stressed out by having your work judged, but you still would like some feedback or maybe just show off some of your work, we will have an non-judged table. Feel free to bring any and all turnings you wish to present (even prior work) on this table.

The judging will be done by our visiting Demonstrators and will be done at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, the second day of the Symposium.  At the end of the Symposium the judges will speak briefly about what their criteria was in making their selections.


Instant Gallery Judging Criteria

You are encouraged to turn and bring something to show in the Instant Gallery. As you can see from the categories listed below, there is a place for everyone.



The criterion for this group is quite simple and is listed below.

  • Project made on a lathe
  • Project made of wood or alternative material.

Sanding and finish are not graded as carefully.


If your turnings fall somewhere between the beginning and advanced level, then this is your group.  If you have entered work in other instant galleries or wood art competitions and have received an award, you may or may not be in this category. Winning entries in past competitions may mean you are now ready for the advanced level of competition.

If you are attempting something new or challenging (for you), you may be more comfortable in the Intermediate category until you have mastered this particular technique.  In this category form, proportion, sanding and finish are more important than they are in the beginning category and attention will be given to details that exhibit mastery over such things as:

  • Torn Surfaces (wood fiber broken rather than sliced cleanly)
  • “Bruised” Surfaces (dark areas in finish indicating damage beneath the surface)
  • Sanding Marks (visible scratches or lines)
  • Tool Marks (ripples, break in line continuity, gouge spirals, or chatter marks).


The type of turning for this group includes all forms such as bowls, platters, hollow-forms, spindle work, boxes, etc., but may also incorporate challenging techniques such as segmented laminations or post turning treatment such pyrography, carving, and coloring. The Advanced category does not necessarily confine the artist to just wood as a media. The following factors will be considered:

  • Concept: Artistry, Originality, Creativity
  • Execution: Successful execution of idea, Craftsmanship, Finish
  • Technical difficulty: Size, Texture(s), Carving, Laminations, contours
  • Use of Materials: Appropriateness of material for execution of project
  • Form, Design, Balance: How the piece makes one feel, what does it feel like.
  • Overall Impression: How pleasing, both visual and tactile