New Competition and Judging Format Slated for 2017 Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival

New Competition and Judging Format Slated for 2017 Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival

Judging for the winners of $5,000 in cash prizes has moved from within a competition tent into the marketplace. The judges will systematically search through the booths in each aisle, interacting with the exhibitors, while seeking the best of the best in six categories. Winner's ribbons, including the two $1,000 purchase prizes, will be presented to the winning artists and craftsmen to proudly display in their booths throughout the festival. For the first time visitors will have the opportunity to view the winners in the context of each artist's and craftsmen's body of work.

This change benefits everyone! The hassle of choosing and bringing three pieces to the competition tent before judging begins Thursday morning is no more. The risk of placing your valuable creations in the festival's hands is no more. The festival's inability to adequately insure your work and fully protect it from the elements is no more. These reasons combined with the above artist, craftsman, and visitor benefits derived from this change will make the show more relaxed, interactive and meaningful for everyone.

The awards presentation in the German one room school house will remain, the flags above the winning booths will remain. There will be an information tent set up near the gazebo to facilitate and coordinate communication among artists, visitors and Amish Acres. The popular prize registration will take place there.

The 2017 festival judges challenged to facilitate the new format are Justin Barfield and Lucas Lorte, both art professors at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Born in southern Louisiana, Justin Barfield received his Bachelor of Arts at Southeastern Louisiana University and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Notre Dame. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally including the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, the Martha Gault Art Gallery at Slippery Rock University, the Paper Circle Gallery in Ohio, and Durban Gallery in Durban, South Africa. He has three times participated in the Lessedra World Art Print Annual in Bulgaria. Justin has lectured on his work at Southeastern Louisiana University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and the Hannah House at the Mid American Print Conference. His work is a mix of printmaking and sculptural processes with rust. Influenced by the destruction of his home during hurricane Katrina, the impact of the BP oil spill on the gulf coast seafood industry, and where he spent most of his life, Barfield's work resonates with recent and overwhelming ecological and economic changes.

Lucas Korte received his M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame after studying biology at Wayne State University and fine art at the College for Creative Studies, both in Detroit. He is at present a visiting assistant in drawing at Notre Dame. His work deals with the nonhuman generally, originally focusing on invertebrate forms as revealed by the science of biology, with an aim towards questioning the figure of the human and the central position it has held in the universe in Western culture. His work has been exhibited nationally in Detroit, South Bend, and Chicago.

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