"This weekend will go down in history as one of the greatest gatherings of talent in our field...we'll all be proclaiming in years to come 'I was there!'"
"I'm watching the future of art unfold before my eyes!"
—Michael R. Whelan
"The feeling of camaraderie was everywhere. Not only were we seeing old friends, but meeting new ones, usually people we were big fans of."
"This is a giant cake of energy and creativity that I will take back to Brittany and feed off for years to come."
Several thousand people came through the doors over three days to meet artists, to buy art, to make friends, to connect and network. There were things that went well and things that didn't, exhibitors who sold everything and others not quite as successful...just like with any show, particularly in the first year. But there was a vibe, an energy, an electricity that positively crackled for those three days in Kansas City. It was a place where all artists were welcome without artificial categorizations, definitions, prejudices, restrictions, or conceits. If you were able to make it to Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!...you know. If you weren't able to make it...come to the next.
And, yes, there will be another. Of course there will. And we'll try to make it better than the first...for everyone.
Our special thanks go to:
• Event guests Brom, Phil Hale, Android Jones, Iain McCaig, and Mike Mignola.
• Sidebar Nation's Dwight Clark and Swain Hunt for expertly handling the main stage interviews.
• All of the program participants and panelists, with a special nod to Winona Nelson and her popular Women In Fantasy Art panel and Iain McCaig for his life-altering workshops.
• John English and The Art Department for hosting the wildly popular Friday night life drawing party.
• Art Directors Mark Chiarello, Irene Gallo, Jeremy Cranford, Jon Schindehette, Lauren Panepinto, Daren Bader, Zoë Robinson, Sarah Robinson, and Dawn Rivera-Ernster for spending Saturday reviewing artist's portfolios.
• Maria Cabardo for premiering her documentary Better Things: The Life + Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones as a Thursday social event leading into the show and magnanimously again as a surprise on Saturday for everyone that missed it.
• Robert K. Wiener for graciously displaying Jeffrey Jones paintings from his collection as part of the memorial marking the anniversary of Jeff's death.
• Award presenters par excellence Irene Gallo, Mike Mignola, Iain McCaig, Jarrod & Brandon Shiflett, Gregory Manchess, Greg Spalenka, Donato Giancola, and Michael Whelan and to their on-stage assistants Tracy Crawford and Calandra Ysquierdo.
• Phadroid and Quixotic Fusion for astonishing performances during the awards ceremony.
• John Fleskes of Flesk Publications for producing the stunning commemorative art book for SFAL!
• Ragnar for designing the official souvenir T-shirt.
• All the on-site volunteers and particularly to our steering committee: Arlo Burnett, Jim Fallone, Bunny Muchmore, Lazarus Potter, Bob Self, and Shena Wolf.
• And, of course, most certainly, to every single exhibitor and to every attendee, all of whom believed that an event for and about artists, all artists, is a good idea.
Some great reports and photos can be found at:
And, of course, Donato's here on MC:
Above: Mahlon Craft, Grand Master Kinuko Y. Craft, and
Advisory Board Member Irene Gallo. Photo by Greg Manchess.
Above: Greg Manchess gives a painting demo Sunday. Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: The result, a portrait of Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. Photo by Aaron Albrecht.
Above: Xenozoic creator Mark Schultz with one of the banners we put in the hall to remember
the Grand Masters who have passed away. Photo by John Fleskes.
Above: Cathy & I with legendary artist Mark English. Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: MC's own Justin Gerard. Photo by Aaron Albrecht.
Above: Paul Bonner brought the largest display of his luminous watercolors ever
to be seen in the U.S. Photo by Aaron Albrecht.
Above: GoHs Phil Hale & Android Jones. Photo by John Fleskes.
Above: Mike Mignola, Iain McCaig, Brom, Phil Hale, and Android Jones sign
in the Flesk Publications booth. Photo by John Fleskes.
Above: Tor Art Director Irene Gallo presents the awards in the Book Category.
Photo by Rockville Music Magazine.
Above: Performances by Phadroid (Android and Phaedra Jones) opened and
closed the awards ceremony. Photo by Rockville Music Magazine.
Above: Android's digital art was not prerecorded: he was creating and performing on
the computer with Phaedra as she danced. Photo by Rockville Music Magazine.
Above: Justin Sweet accepts the Gold Award in the Concept Art Category. The art of the
finalists and winners was projected onto a 30' wide screen. Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: Virginie Ropars accepts the Gold Award in the Dimensional Category.
Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: The nationally renowned dance troupe Quixotic Fusion gave an amazing performance
at the mid-point of the awards ceremony. Photo by M&E Photo.
Above: More from Quixotic. The Midland Theater (which is on the National Registry) was the
perfect place to pay tribute to the arts community. Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: Donato presents Justin Gerard with the Silver Award in the Unpublished Category.
Photo by M&E Photo.
Above: Grand Master Michael Whelan was the perfect presenter for the final award.
Photo by Irene Gallo.
Above: James Gurney takes the stage to accept his Grand Master Award. Photo by M&E Photo.
Above: Flesk Publications
produced this gorgeous hardcover commemorative art book featuring full color chapters devoted to each guest with page after page of wonderful work.