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Re: AGA conference report and pics

Thanks for the quick feedback Arthur.

Regarding "Contests", in a general sense, regardless of who sponsors them, I
have one major worry - people sometimes enter then for the wrong reason. In
my view, it ought to be about sharing your personal vision (be it of an
aquascape, a photograph, or a jar of jam) with others of like mind. When you
throw in greed for prizes, or worse money, it can become more a battle of
egos. The "grand prize" in the ADA contest certainly perked up everyone's
ears, due to its size (how much is 1,000,00 Yen worth, anyway?) but when
that's "the brass ring", people can lose sight of the other, more important
(at least, more important to me) aspects of such an event - the sharing of
one's vision with others and the learning that can take place through it.
That was one reason why I liked the fact that the first itteration of the
AGA event was a Showcase first, a Contest second. When I started contacting
companies looking for prizes, during the first year, I had no idea that they
would end up being so generous and even I will admit that towards the end I
got caught up in the "thrill" associated with all those items we had to give
away. I was bugging Erik almost daily about adding yet another Prize
Sponsor's donation to the list we displayed on the web site.

I understand your position regarding "art" vs "gardening" and can agree with
most of it. But to be able to regularly get to the level of "art" you have
to have the basics down - and many people are still struggling with the
basics. But just because you don't have all the "basics" covered doesn't
mean that you should ignore the aestetic aspects. Growth in both areas can
proceed hand in hand. We see that on this list all the time.

Discussion of the artistic aspects of the hobby is just as valid and just as
interesting as arguing over the merits of needle valves or substrate (or,
heaven forbid, the color of water in a white bucket).

James Purchase