Thoughts about Art & Soul of the Magic Valley

April 23, 2015  •  3 Comments

Art & Soul of the Magic ValleyClick to go to contest site Here are a few thoughts that are rattling around my head that describe what Art & Soul of the Magic Valley is to me.

The BIG picture – Yes it is a contest but at its core, Art & Soul is an attempt to bring people into the Twin Falls area. It is a tool that will, hopefully, raise the cultural awareness of our community and maybe even make the Magic Valley someplace people think of when they think of art hubs to visit. At the core of the core it is a piece of the puzzle that might bring back a little bit of that old Town Square social community that existed before we got so busy.

The CONTEST – Although many people want to make it one... Art & Soul isn't your typical contest. This is not a photo contest. This is not a sculpture contest. This is not a water color contest. It is an art contest. It is not judged by trained professionals in your discipline. It is judged by your neighbors, friends and the lady buying frozen chicken just ahead of you in the checkout line. For all of these reasons, Art & Soul creates new challenges. Challenges you can either complain about or take on and try to conquer.

A previous entry into Art & Soulthe Red Balloon Project - The power of Positive in a Child's Life

A couple THOUGHTS (mine... you don't have to agree)

With things in life that frustrate us there is always more than one way to take them on. I have been involved with Art & Soul all five years of its existence and I decided about year-three that unless I had a huge number of friends that would vote in such a way that would skew the vote (and completely defy the Soul of the contest), a traditional photo would never win the big money. If I wanted to enter a picture into a contest it could compete evenly in, there are a million photo contests out there. You are usually competing against thousands of entries with total prizes totaling a few thousand dollars. With Art & Soul, I would be competing against a few hundred for prizes totaling over thirty thousand. Art & Soul is a public's choice contest. In order to get a public vote, you have to present something that awakens and overwhelms an emotion in your viewer. SO... I could either complain and try to bring the contest down to me, OR... I could try to find ways to raise what I enter up to the contest.

Winning is nice but it is not the most valuable result of events like Art & Soul. The five years I have been involved with this contest have helped me define a few personal concepts:

ART can be anything you can use to help portrait YOUR WORLD. It can be painting. It can be photography. It can be standing on a rock and yelling. It can be dropping 10,000 paper airplanes off the top of a 10-story building.

ART by definition IS UNDEFINABLE

Why would I want to limit myself by defining what I do, it would stop being art and start being a production process.

• I use Art & Soul as a deadline (one I am almost always late for) to stretch, explore and discover new aspects of my passion. To step out of any box I may have constructed and start seeing things differently. Photography, for me, is first and foremost a tool to help me discover my world and share it with others.

• I have never entered this contest to win (not that I wouldn't enjoy it). I am participating in something I enjoy and believe in. I am participating in something that gets me off my butt and makes me stretch and create something better, or at least different, than I have ever created before.

ART & SOUL CREATIVITY & SPIRITUALITY all reside in the same part of our being. A part of our being we need to let drive our lives. There in lies both a growth opportunity and a danger for me.

Give Them WingsThis year's entry into Art & Soul


Shari Hart(non-registered)
I would have to agree, Mr. Dixon. I've entered the last three years--mainly because of a creative gentleman on the northside of the canyon has encouraged me to do so. It pushes me, makes me get out of my comfort zone and it exposes me to both good and bad critique. I meet new people. I make new friends. I learn. I gain a tad more confidence. I find most everyone is as nervous as me. Art & Soul is definitely a huge plus for this valley.
Alfred Hagen(non-registered)
Well said, Mike. I never entered to win, just to share.
Terry Halbert(non-registered)
Thanks Mike it is a Great community event, something for the entire Magic Valley to be proud of!
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