Questions? Contact:


Competition Chair, Nancy Amburgey


SMGS Competition Clarification

There has been a few questions on what is allowed in the gourd competition this year.


Man-made or artificial materials.  In order to clarify the requirements for the Show-Me festival the following applies.


The rules published state -


"In the past only natural accessories were allowed for any embellishments.  We do realize that there are a great number of new artificially made products that can be used that will not detract from the natural beauty of gourd art if used appropriately.  Acrylic paints, Apoxie-Sculpt, Quick wood, plastic armatures to allow moving parts (if not visible), etc. While this rule is being loosened to allow less restriction to our artists please keep in mind the spirit of the rule which is to keep the gourd art as natural as possible.  Art that has obvious artificial embellishments will not score as high as those with all natural embellishments."


A key words in the above statement is obvious.  Unless if a class specifically calls for natural materials, man-made or artificial shall be allowed so long as the "spirit" of keeping the item natural is maintained.  The spirit of the rule is to keep the art looking as natural and “classy” as possible without limiting the artists too much.  In addition, the American Gourd Society Judging Handbook in Section 13 discusses natural materials.   


An entry with artificial materials shall not be penalized for the man-made material usage unless there is a tie.  This is to allow for creativity and material selection by artist and not to stifle creativity. 


Whole versus cut. 


Either a whole or cut gourd may be used for a class unless if it specifically states otherwise in the class description.  For example, a whole gourd may not be used as a bowl, vase of basket.  On the other hand, either a whole or cut gourd may be used for the cut/filigree or fret-work class.




Embellishments may be used as an accent unless if a class specifically prohibits it. The embellishments may be used for adding interest to the entry, but not a focal or predominate feature unless if the class allows.


Everyone who enters into the SMGS Festival competition is encouraged to write comments on the back of the entry tag to clarify a feature or what materials have been used on their art work. 


Please keep in mind these are the guidelines to be used for entries into the 2017 Show Me Gourd Society Gourd Art Festival in Missouri.  Each festival is entitled to have their own exceptions and the artists should keep this in mind if planning on entering their work in more than one festival.