Sorry for taking so long to add to this conversation. Carol, our son Jacob, and I have been camping all over Eastern Oregon for the last two weeks. It was gorgeous!
I completely understand the frustration many members have with DPW having a permanent group of featured artists. As with most things, however, there is a clarifying history behind why we do.
Early in DPW's history, DPW was a co-op of about 50 founding artists, each of whom was invited by the group to join. When Carol and I decided we would like to open the site up to all artists, in our negotiations with the founding artists, we promised they would always be featured on DPW, no matter how much it changed. Please remember, at that point, DPW was a co-op and to change it required approval of the entire group.
Well, that explains why we have the permanent featured artists. We have long, however, wanted to be able to feature other talented DPW members, who are not part of the founding group. We knew from the beginning we didn't want to be the ones who decided who to feature, and we certainly didn't want to have it be something a member could simply pay for, so we decided instead the most fair and effective approach was to have monthly DPW contests. These monthly contests are judged by guest judges, who pick 3 cash winning place winners ($500, $300, and $150) and 12 judges picks per contest, with all 15 winners being full featured artists for a month, as well as receiving that month of membership for free.
We feel we now have the best of both worlds - we keep our promise to our founding artists, whose talent continues to draw buyers to DPW, and we have a mechanism based, as much as possible, on talent and skill, in place to rotate in up to 15 new featured artists each month. Since our first contest in August 2013, we have awarded over $24,000 in cash prizes and have featured over 330 members!
So, if you would like to be a featured artist in DPW, you will have to enter our monthly DPW contests. There is no limit to how often you can be a judges pick and be featured. We would love to have your participation!
David - the developer and owner of DPW