AIGA Presents – GUTS! | Event Recap
Gallery Schedule To-Do Location Judges Rules Divisions Awards

GUTS is a friendly pumpkin carving competition that was organized and created by CRAFTED, a marketing agency in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is co-hosted alongside AIGA. GUTS has now gone national, with the 1st ever GUTS Austin pumpkin carving competition, hosted by AIGA Austin on October 22, 2016 at Yard Bar, from 11:00a – 3:00p! The primary goal of this event is to unify the creative community in support of the kids who fight the real fight everyday at Make-A-Wish® Central and South Texas, and as a part of our national Design for Good Initiative.

Carving Smiles
The competition is open to local and regional creative professionals that want to test their pumpkin carving skills, and more importantly, raise money for the brave kids of Make-A-Wish. We raise money through the carver’s registration fees, the silent auction and merch sold at the event. For those who can’t make it or would like to do a little extra, we invite anyone, anywhere, to contribute to a wish by donating.




Interested in being a carver?

Registration is NOW CLOSED! Trophies will be awarded in the categories of first place individual, first place team and people’s choice. Winners will take home the GUTS trophy for one year, and all the bragging rights that come with it! Please note that you must have pre-registered in order to carve for this event, but there is always next year!

Carve Strength

Attend: FREE




Carver Set Up: 11:00 AM
Carvers arrive at the YardBar, park and set up their carving stations.

Ready, Set, Carve!: 11:30 AM
Carving begins and guests are welcome to arrive! 90 minutes of furious pumpkin carving action ensues. In addition to carving — kids activities, and bar will be open.

Carving Ends / Station Prep: 1:00 PM
Carving ends. Carvers prep their stations for judging and silent auction, and are then asked to leave their spaces. Attendees can start casting their “People’s Choice” votes at anytime.

Judging: 1:15 PM
Judges will be making their rounds, scoring each entry. Attendees can continue casting their “People’s Choice” through the end of judging but please do not interrupt the judges.

Silent Auction Begins: 1:45 PM
Bidders can begin placing their bids in the silent auction.

Silent Auction Ends: 2:15 PM

Winners Announced: 2:30 PM
Those winning silent auctions can take their pumpkins. We’ll announce Team, Individual, and People’s Choice winners and award trophies and prizes. Stay and celebrate (or drown your sorrows in a beer) as long as you like!



If you aren’t carving, there is plenty to watch and do at GUTS. The event is free to attend and is open to everyone — guests, families, and children are welcome. We encourage everyone to dress up in their favorite costumes.

Carve Dreams

Watch the Carvers Live

Watch the “Iron-chef” style carving action live and up-close — we can assure that you’ll be amazed at the creativity! Each carvers table may have “trick-or-treats” to share!



The event will be held at the Yard Bar on October 22, 2016.



There is plenty of lot parking and neighborhood parking nearby.



Hayden Wish-Kid

Wish-Kid Hayden

Hayden is an 11 year-old young man fighting Cystic Fibrosis. He has started 6th grade and is taking all advanced placement classes. Hayden is also a Boy Scout with Troop 101 in Temple. He has many skills and talents, one of those being his sick moves on his hover board. Hayden pays it forward by being a Wish Kid ambassador so that other children like him can experience their wishes and dreams come true!

Amanda Tatom

MC – Amanda Tatom

Amanda Tatom is the host of Austin lifestyle show Studio512 on KXAN. After ten years anchoring and reporting at the NBC and CBS affiliates in Lubbock, Texas, Amanda switched jobs to become a stay at home mom to her three daughters. In a serendipitous turn of events, she was offered the job at Studio512 on her 40th birthday, and this second act of her career has proven to be the time of her life. From undergoing a mermaid transformation to flying in a bi-plane, it’s never a dull moment. She loves shoe shopping, exploring Austin with her family, and working…because it never really feels like work!

Tim League - Photo by Annie Ray

Tim League

Tim League graduated from Rice University in 1992 and after a two-year stint at Shell Oil in Bakersfield, California, Tim decided to open up his first movie theater. Unfortunately, the Tejon Theater closed in 1995, and he and his wife Karrie loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen and speakers and headed to Austin to start the Alamo Drafthouse, where he remains as CEO today. League also co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States and Drafthouse Films.

Oen Hammonds

Oen Hammonds

A designer, mentor and senior designer at IBM Design, Oen has designed across the gamut—advertising, graphic, interactive and environmental. At IBM Design, Oen works with the Talent Team to develop education experiences for executives and software development teams. Oen also coordinates workshops that activate participants to effectively apply IBM Design Thinking to build iconic products with human centered experiences.


Kathrin Brewer

Kathrin is design-challenged and loves creative thinkers.  As an engineer and systems person, she appreciates people who make the world a more beautiful…and functional…place. She currently serves as the Wish Fairy-in-Chief of Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas.




  • The GUTS competition is open to local and regional creative professionals. We welcome competitors from all aspects from the creative profession — designers, developers, art directors, artists, architects, photographers, and more are all welcome! If you’re not sure if you’re a fit for GUTS, feel free to ask us.
  • Each participant or team must provide their own pumpkin(s) and carving tools.
  • Pumpkins should be gutted before carving begins to save time and reduce mess on-site. Other than planning, no other prep work may be done on your pumpkin (drawing, scoring, pre-cutting parts, etc.).
  • Carving time is 90 minutes.
  • There has to be at least 1 pumpkin per entrant (individual or team member).
  • You may incorporate multiple pumpkins, gourds, and similar materials as accessories or in support of your entry.
  • Props may be used but cannot comprise the majority of your design. Keep in mind this is a pumpkin carving contest and your carving skills are what will be evaluated most heavily by the judges.
  • Power tools are acceptable but must have their own power source (no power provided).
  • Painting can be part of your design, but it must also be carved.
  • Lighting your pumpkin is up to you (no power provided).
  • Your final creation will need to be able to be moved from your carving table to the buyer’s car, if purchased in the silent auction. If you are creating a team entry that is large, it will need to be structurally sound enough—or able to be separated to be moved. Note that the carver bringing in the highest auction bid in both the Individual and Team divisions receives a bonus of points, so it’s important to keep the auction-bidders happy!
  • Costumes are welcome and decorating your prep area is accepted with limits on the staging area so that you do not disturb adjacent carvers. Keep in mind, the only thing you will be scored on is your pumpkin carving.
  • If there are any questions about the rules that are not answered here, please contact us. We will respond to each question received.



Individual Division
If you join as an individual carver you will be competing against others within the individual category only. Your entry may incorporate a single pumpkin or multiple pumpkins.

Team Division
Each team is made up of 2-3 participants. The entire team works together on a single entry that should incorporate multiple pumpkins (at least one per team member) and will be judged against others within the team division.


Awards and Scoring System

Every judge gives each entry a score in the range of 1-10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). Each entry will receive a cumulative score in the range of 4-40. Additionally, in order to reward big money earners, the carving bringing in the highest auction bid in both the Individual and Team division will get an additional 1.5 pts, bringing your possible scoring total to 5.5 – 41.5. Our goal with this rule is to reward the entry that raises the most money and help break any ties. We hope you have fun with this and see what you can do to invite the highest bids possible!

Additionally, we take a close look at enforcing the rules to ensure a fair playing field. If your team is caught breaking any rule, then we will take a 1.5 point deduction off of your total. Be careful and make sure you are aware of all rules!

In each division, first place winners will be awarded a trophy. We will engrave the trophy with your name on it and bring it to your office where you can enjoy display and bragging rights for one year. We will then pick up the trophy next year to give to the new winner.

In addition, we are including a People’s Choice award! This will ensure that all voices are heard from your peers and the audience. Everyone at the event will be able to cast a vote.

By entering you are forfeiting your creation to the cause. Unless you are the high bidder for your own pumpkin, you will not be taking your creation home, unless no one bids on your pumpkin, in which case you are responsible for removing it from the premises.





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Published August 30, 2016