The Dallas Market Center  (DMC) and Accessories Resource Team  (ART) recently announced the 24th annual ARTS Awards finalists. The awards will be presented at a gala event during the winter Total Home & Gift Market on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at the same location where the awards returned last year after more than two decades (albeit in a much larger room): the Hilton Anatole Hotel .
The venue will be one of the only unchanged components of this ARTS Awards installation. Now, with an all-digital process for finalists to submit entries, a revamped judging procedure and a new award to be presented, the competition continues to expand and improve.
All finalists’ presentations are 100 percent digital this time around, and according to ART Executive Director Sharon Davis, a new PDF upload system specifically designed for competitions like the ARTS Awards is now being used, trading up from the FTP site utilized last year.
Judging will be different this year also, as the “bonus score” component of the competition received a makeover.
“As the peer component this year, each finalist submitted references,” Davis explains. “Those references will be interviewed by an outside source, the scores will be averaged based on the number of references the outside source was able to reach, and that average will be added to the bonus score. The second part of the bonus score is the ART member vote. Voting starts in November and each ART member gets one vote, choosing from a list of the finalists and their websites.”
Finalists can add a maximum of 10 bonus points to their scores from the reference interviews and 5 from the ART member vote.
In addition to these changes, ART and DMC are currently discussing plans to add a Visionary award to the program, with a recipient chosen by the organizations in a similar fashion to the Academy of Achievement Award, which will be given to the Cooper family of Uttermost. Details about the new award will be coming soon.
DMC also announced that HGTV’s John Gidding  will present at the ARTS Awards gala this year. Gidding is a popular architect-designer and hosts the HGTV show “Curb Appeal: The Block,” where he and his team give one home’s exterior a complete overhaul and then make their way down the street, replacing front doors and window boxes and giving small makeovers to neighboring homes to add appeal to the whole block.
Davis thinks the addition of Gidding to the lineup will only add to the ceremony’s draw, based on how popular he was as a speaker at ART’s Conference in May. “John genuinely enjoyed being a part of our Conference. I’m very excited about his participation — his presentation is great and he’s just so handsome!”
The ARTS lighting categories have not changed: manufacturer categories for lighting fixtures and portable lamps, plus three retailer categories based on region. Lighitng also made a strong showing among the finalists beyond dedicated categories, with three Canadian showrooms encompassing all of the International Retailer finalists; sales representatives Richard Alan and Brian Slater; and Carolyn Kinder, Dennis Beard and Sergio Orozco in the Product Designer category.