Faires vs. Competitions

Faires vs Competitions

Within the Kingdom of Meridies, we have both faires and competitions dedicated to arts and sciences. There are crucial differences that distinguish faires from competitions.

What is a Faire?

Faires: A faire is a juried showing of artistic works that includes commentary and feedback from the judges. There are three basic level of faires: local, regional, and kingdom. The general purpose of a faire is to bring items and receive constructive commentary that indicates how well you are doing. It is important to your growth as an artisan to know what you are doing well, where you are making mistakes, and how to improve you work (if you so desire).

Faires use a scoring systems so that entrants have a benchmark. It gives the judges a framework to hang the commentary on. For example: If students turned in papers and all they got were editorial comments, they would be able to find some mistakes and hopefully fix them. However, without a grade or score to go with it, the students would not know precisely how well they are doing, would they?  If those same students only received a grade of a C without any commentary, they don’t know what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. We allow entries to be entered “for commentary only”, which takes away score portion, for those individuals who find the scores to be too intimidating or oppressive.

Ultimately, entries in a faire are judged individually within the framework of the genre standard. Entries are not supposed to be compared to other entries within the context of a faire. Each work is judged solely on its own merit. It is possible to have a competition as a separate component within the context of a faire.

Local Faire: A local competition is the beginning level. If you are new to competing, you should first enter at the local level. Depending on how well your entry is received, you may consider advancing to the regional. For more information about entering at the local level, please read the article,Entering A&S Faires – A Comparison of Expectations. Also consult the information provided in,Evaluating Web Sources.

Regional Faire: Entries that are entered at this level are judged by more rigorous standards than you will find in a local competition. The purpose of the regional faire is to receive valuable feedback about the authenticity of your entry and the scope of your documentation. Regional faires will describe the strengths of your entry and provide constructive advice for improving this entry or possible future entries. The purpose of this is to provide a learning experience and allow you to grow as an artisan.

While the name seems to indicate that certain areas of Meridies are broking into arts regions, that is not quite true. A regional faire is held by a local group that voluntarily wishes to hold a faire with more importance than a local one. For more information about entering at the regional level, please read the article,Entering A&S Faires – A Comparison of Expectations. Also consult the information provided in, Evaluating Web Sources.

Note: The regional faires that are being held at Crown Tournaments is commentary that is made on an individual person-to-person basis. Neither judging forms nor scores will be involved. You simply come to the tournament and interact with people who are visiting the display. It is a different method of providing feedback that removes all competitive issues involved in a juried format and allows for much more personal contact.

Knowledge of the judging process is invaluable to entrants. If you have a good understanding of the process used, you will be more confident and more likely to do your best. Please consult the Judges page for critical information.

Kingdom Arts and Science Faire: This level of competition can be the most demanding of all the competitions. It is for the best of the best. As with regional faires, the kingdom faire should be a learning experience designed to help artisans take their work to the next step. For more information about competing at the kingdom level, please read the article, Entering A&S Faires – A Comparison of Expectations. It is held annually on the first weekend of June at various locations throughout Meridies.

Please visit the page devoted to Kingdom Arts and Science Faire for more detailed information about the event. There is important information for entrants, both veterans and first-timers.

What is a Competition?

Informal Competitions: Occassionally an individual or an Order will sponsor an informal competition within the larger context of the faire setting. When this occurs the individuals often want to recognize an outstanding entry. Prizes or scrolls are sometimes awarded. For example, one year the Meridian Embroidery Guild gave a basket of embroidery supplies to the individual who entered the best Textile Arts: Application entry. This normally occurs when there is a desire to encourage a particular art form. Sometimes local faires, include a competition within their faire so that local group may award a prize to an individual.

Formal Competitions: We have two formal competitions within the Kingdom of Meridies, the Gulf Wars Champion and the Champion of Kingdom Arts and Sciences. In a competition, the entries of each artisan are judged for individual merit and the entry that excels is chosen. The score that is awarded to each entry through the normal judging process will help to provide an objective measure in determining the winner.

Gulf Wars Champion: If you wish to be considered a candidate for Gulf Wars Champion, please consult the information on the events page. Meridies will be able to offer up to three entries to its allied kingdom, either Trimaris or Ansteorra. All entries must be anonymous without any names or kingdom affiliations. Entries may not have been entered at a previous Gulf Wars. The Champion’s Battle is a war point battle.

Anybody can apply for the Gulf Wars Champion selection, but they should be aware that we are looking for excellent entries that can stand exacting judging standards in all areas.  If you are very new, have problems with documentation, or are a beginner in your field, your piece is less likely to be selected.

Champion of Kingdom Arts and Sciences: Champion of the Arts will be chosen as follows: There will be a maximum of 12 entries, a minimum of 4 entries, and no more than 2 entries per category. The scores of the entries will be added together, then divided by the total number of entries for that person. The entrant with the highest average score wins. In the case of a tie, the entrant with the most number of high scores will win.