2023-01-18, Viken, Sweden
This is a very important message from Bellamonti Art.
As some of you may know, we held a contest online on our website the 20th-27th December 2022. The voting was open to the public during these days. From one of the five finalists with the most votes, we were supposed to choose a winner, whose art should be on the front page of Nordic Art Guide 2023.
When we had the voting public for the Nordic Art Guide 2021/22 we used another type of voting system through the website 123Formbuilder, where every IP-adress was logged and could be read, analyzed and the double votings easily removed. The con with this voting was that no one else could see the current standings and no artist could know when to put in that extra energy.
When we had the voting public for Nordic Art Guide 2023, we used a type of voting through our webhost, Wix, where we had good control over the statistics when it comes to webtraffic, user activity and user behaviour. Unfortunaly we had no control over the IP-adresses. Here, the artists were able to see their current votings. Being on the front cover of our art books is something many artists strive for; it is something prestigious and very sought after and which can give the cover artist a boost in their career as an artist.
There has come to our knowledge, here at Bellamonti Art, that one or several of the finalists may have manipulated the voting system. Mainly by using incognito-mode on their computer or mobile phone and repeating the voting as many times as needed. By using incognito-mode the traces can be covered from the user and the web cookies are automatically manipulated. The user can vote as many times as they need to guarantee a place in the final.
We know that there is a risk, that these accusations may seem false, and Lord knows if it is or not. But emails have reached us from artists stating their concern. Something that never has happened before. We also know, that compared to last year’s voting for Nordic Art Guide 2021/22, the number of votes for the finalists are very high - too high to be suspicious since we know how popular the finalists were in the Nordic Art Guide 2021/22-voting.
We, at Bellamonti Art, needed to take a decision in how to handle this situation in the best way.
Therefore, we announce the voting for the Nordic Art Guide 2023 unvalid.
This means that none of the finalists will be disqualified, but we will take action by making the majority of the participating artists decide how we shall proceed. Either, with a new contest online which is safer, but not 100% “cheat safe” OR by Bellamonti Art counselling with people in the art business, almost like a jury and then take a decision. To make sure the jury isn’t manipulated by any artists, we won’t tell the names of them until they have said their opinions. The participating artists will be contacted through email about this matter.
From now on, we will also stop having cover contests online open for the public eye. Instead, we will either choose a winner ourselves without a contest, let a jury decide, or choose a winner together with a jury of our choice. With the cover contest for the public eye, we wanted the artists to polish their marketing skills and learn how to use your network to get help when you really needed it. The most important for us, as a company, is to continue to keep up our reputation as a serious business with love for the art as it always has been since we opened up Galleri Cinnamoni in 2012. But, the decisions mentioned before, is also to help each and every artists to motivate yourself, to develop as an artist and to get better and more self-conscious every year, to increase your chances to be on the cover and to reach the high standards of our former cover artists. Thank you!