A national preliminary wood carving competition was held in Kumasi, Ghana on Jan 19 to select the best wood carver to represent the country to attend the 2013 World Wood Day (WWD) woodcraft event from March 19 to 21.
Ghana was among the 25 African countries which participated in the WWD woodcraft event. Ten leading carvers of the country were nominated by the wood carvers association of Ghana to participate in the preliminary competition and seven were able to make it that day.
Each competitor was given four hours to carve on any piece of wood of their choice. The artists came out with very inspiring and marvelous works which had various forms of cultural interpretations. After meticulous judging, Paul Mensah, chief carver of the Unity Carvers Association, emerged as the winner of the competition.
The judging criteria include skills of handling of tools, approach to work, speed of work, attitude, joy and enthusiasm, interpretation of work, cultural significance, communication skills and finishing and overall composure and ethics.
The judges were Dr. Kafui Agyemang, a lecturer at the faculty of art of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; Mr Kswasi Asante, the Chairman of the Wood Carvers Association; and Mr. Mustapha Abass, an artist and an official of the National Culture Center.
The competitors left satisfied with the verdict of the judges and were positive about the purpose of woodcarving competitions such as this one. On the whole the competition was successful as it brought out cultural significance by presenting traditional woodcarving on a live performance stage.