“Take 99” Award Ceremony

After the opening of the “Take 99” show, featuring nearly 100 decorated elephants made by Balinese people from all walks of life, I knew on my return to Bali I would be handing out the prize money to the eight winners.  Simply asking these people to stop by and pick up an envelope with cash felt empty, given the community-nature of this culture.  So many people took their time and energy to create beautiful elephants, I knew the acknowledgment needed to be public and include a lasting award.

To that end, I reserved a beautiful Balinese restaurant for the evening and invited the winners and their friends to a buffet dinner and award ceremony.  The laminated award had a photo of each person’s winning elephant and a note of appreciation.  After dinner, tea and desserts, Kadek MC’d the presentation, as few present spoke English.  Each award was presented with the prize envelope and the David Alan Collection newsletter about the elephant show in America, and a photo of the acceptance of the prize.  The winners, both male and female, 19-54 years old, were more thrilled with the award and the public recognition than the cash. Each person somehow sensed the plaque on the wall would last longer and mean more than the envelope in their pocket.  While the cash prizes may have been the initial motivation, the award on the wall will last a lifetime.
It was a sweet, beautiful evening that conveyed appreciation to everyone who participated in the contest and acknowledgment to the winners for excellent work.  I’m thankful to the hundreds of people who worked together to make this show and opening party a reality.  It was a great chapter in the history of David Alan Collection.


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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