Judging Committee Letter

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Dear Gourd Crafters/Artists,


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for participating in the 2017 SMGS Gourd Art Festival competition. We so appreciate each and every entry to our show. As fellow gourd artists, we understand the hours of work and the time spent developing new ideas that go into each and every piece. It is so exciting each year to look at the hundreds of entries and enjoy the variety of ideas and creative abilities we see.


As judges we take our responsibility seriously and are committed to doing the best job possible.  In judging, we follow:

  1. The American Gourd Society judging handbook rules and suggestions.  Judging  will be according to AGS rules, Scoring Option  "C" for ALL CLASSES.  For additional information on AGS rules, see www. http://americangourdsociety.org/judging.html.
  2. Our Class Description Requirements 
  3. The Gourd Crafting Terms and Definitions which the SMGS has adopted
  4. Once again there will be an entry fee for those who are entering the competition in the Grower’s, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master Craftsman divisions.  The cost for Pre-Registered entries will be $2.00 per entry for members of the Show-Me Gourd Society and $3.00 for non-members.  The Youth Division will remain free.  This fee helps cover the cost of ribbons and printing supplies for the competition.

Late registration (received after March 20, 2017) and unregistered “walk-in” entries on the day of the show will incur a late fee of $5.00 for each item entered into the show.  If an exhibitor that pre-registered their entries brings to the show additional entries, each non-pre-registered entry will incur a late fee of $5.00. 


We want every participant to have the best experience possible.  In order for that to happen you should pay close attention to the following suggestions to help make that happen. 

  • Read very carefully the description and requirements of the competition Category and Division in which you plan to enter your work.  If entering in the Category 2 -Crafted Gourd, make sure you enter in the correct Division, as you can only enter in only one Division within this Category.  You can, however; also enter the Category 1 - Dried Gourd/Grower’s and the Category 3 - Other. 
  • Read very carefully the Class descriptions and make sure your entry fits the Class in which you plan to place the entry.  Be sure it qualifies for this Class.
  • Read very carefully the Gourd Crafting Terms and Definitions. (Also posted in the 2017 show book and on the SMGS website). 
  • If a gourd is cut in any way, be sure it is finished on the interior as well as the exterior.  The interior should be sanded smooth and painted or sealed in some manner.  If a stem is left on the gourd it must be cleaned also. 
  • Be sure the gourd will sit securely on its base for display. 
  • Pay close attention to the lines of your design.  Are the lines clean and crisp?  If it is a cut design, are the cut edges smooth and clean? 
  • Be certain to read the rules regarding use of synthetic (man-made) materials and embellishments. 
  • For the sake of informing the viewing public (as well as the judges), submit identify any unusual natural materials or techniques that you have used in your gourd project on the entry tag.  If a Class requires a card stating the different techniques you used be sure to include it with your entry. 
  • Judges are primarily looking for these things when they judge a gourd:
    • Does it “fit” the class description and requirements? 
    • Does the workmanship show skill and attention to detail? 
    • Does the entry show creativity and originality? 
    • Does the technique used and the design that is executed “fit “and enhance the natural beauty of the gourd?
    • What is the quality of the gourd?  Does its structure (thickness, shape and/or scars) detract from or add to the overall impact of the finished piece?

If you have any questions, contact the Competition Chair:  Nancy Amburgey - amburgey21@centurytel.net, please include SMGS Competition in the Subject Line.