Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My opinion on Monte San Savino 2015

The Decennial of Monte San Savino has proven to be an irresistible magnet for the greatest names of our little painting community. As usual, it was easier to feel the magnitude of the artists gathered by counting just the names of those who missed the event this year. It was a total blast, believe me.

MSS is cool, and you know it!

And as usual, the organization has worked inmensely to make sure everything ran smoothly and perfectly so that everyone could have the best experience possible. This is no simple task, I can assure you that!

Taking photos of all miniatures was a titanic task

From the first to the last, Francesco, Luca, Fabio, Elisa... many many names that are behind the curtains and make everything possible. This is all done out of passion for the hobby, all for this little (huge) creature they have created throughout these amazing 10 years. This creature is now, without a doubt, the most important gathering of miniature figure artists in the world.

The people in this line are Silver winners in Masters Fantasy creation (take that!)

How has this happened? This is probably one important question that comes to the minds of many participants, some even organizers of their own contests from different parts of the world. Well, it's something hard to explain, really. It is something that has happened for many reasons. It has been a snowball that has been growing bigger and bigger each year. The legendary artist names participating in every edition have served as a beacon for other painters to spread the unavoidable call of Monte and help them decide to make the trip each November.

Raúl Latorre in his painting demo

Bests of Bests

The difference between Monte and other contests is not the location for example. Monte San Savino is a beautiful little town in the Tuscany that you most certainly would like to visit with your family or friends. However, this is something you can also find in other contests. Just this past weekend for example we witnessed Soldat de Plom, held in the wonderful city of Girona in Spain, which is not only as beautiful as you would expect of Monte, but also bigger and better communicated.

The traditional Friday idromele baptism

The show at a calm time of the day

The difference between Monte and other contests is not the quality of the lighting and situation of the exhibits for example. It actually is a contest where you may find one of the worst lighting sets you can think of, no cabinets, not enough space for the pieces in show, difficult accesses and small rooms for the huge amount of participants. So if MSS is not good at this, then what is the difference?

The main difference between Monte and other contests is that the painting community has picked this event, and no other, to meet every year as the mandatory date in the calendar. This has created something which is much more than a community, it is a family. And this, of course, is thanks to the titanic effort of people like Francesco or Luca, who work like crazy every year to make this happen. This, we cannot stress it enough, means that Monte San Savino is the community, made by the community and for the community.

Happy watching of the award ceremony

And now, in this Decennial more than ever, the problems that Monte San Savino has always had are excruciatingly evident. The amount of participants and visitors has grown inmensely, the community is bigger than ever, and the quality level of the entries is something never seen before. But the event is still as great as it was three years ago, and this is not enough. The community is outgrowing the event and I am worried that Monte San Savino may, at some point, die of success. Our family has grown very much in size and the house is no longer big enough.

In my opinion, it is now, just when the contest has turned ten years old, the perfect moment when the community has to step up and finally help consolidate this yearly gathering. We need to make MSS something bigger and make it level up to help it grow into an even greater event.

Maximum use of the space available

Awesome stuff in the corner without any lights at all

There is of course a full year until the next edition of Monte San Savino, more than enough time to recommend sensible improvements to the organization. But we cannot rest in our laurels! I propose gathering a set of good ideas and criticisms so we can make a proper list of things to improve, and help our friends in the MSS crew make the transition into something that is sustainable for the future.

For this purpose, and if you want, I will personally gather up all your ideas and comments to make a consolidated list of the important things that need to improve, and then send them all to Francesco and the crew. It's the least I can do to help the contest. What do you think?

Best of Fantasy prize made especially for the occassion by Francesco Farabi

Therefore, what would you think needs to improve in Monte San Savino? If you have something to say please send your comments via facebook in my Facebook page, the comment section of this blog, or send them to my e-mail. Rest assured that I will read them all and when the list is complete, I will post it in the blog for you all to read. I will be accepting your ideas up until the end of November.

It's now the time to step in and level up! Have a say and be heard!

PS: The photos in this article have been slaughtered mercilessly from the Facebook sites of John Keys, John Harrison and Davide Rainone. Without their permission, but with all my cheek and good will. Please refrain from legal prosecution! :)


Riber said...

I think its a great idea and initiativ. I have a fews things you have already mentioned, like the lighting, but ill go poke around my brain to see if i can come up with more ideas.

Mario 2012 said...

may be something as simple and get a different room for the booking. The online booking is a great idea and speed things up but them you have to physically pick up the booking and the papers in the same room as everybody is registering for the first time and also in the same exposition room.
beggars can't be choosers but bigger exposition rooms ill be great....but remember is also the closeness of historical and fantasy that has contribute so much to this be THE event of the year.
Another bone of contention that many will and possibly have comment about is the prize ceremony.........I have my own ideas but this things always have to take in consideration the "economy" aspect of any show!
This was my first and I was not sure to return, but after the experience I looks like will become a fixture in MY calendar!

PaintingBuddha said...

What a wonderful post, Volomir! Could not have said it better!

Yes, there are many things that are not 'perfect' for what is probably the biggest and best show in Europe right now - BUT - I think that's part of the charm. Yes, the light could be better, but honestly, I'd still go if they even turned off the lights completely :D

As you said, Monte is a celebration of our painting community and it's family. As such, I'm happy with the way it is. ;)