Bridge, 2016. Julie Bell. Oil on artist’s board, 30 x 30 inches
This coming weekend, September 23-25th will see a small gathering of artists and their art on display for the IlluxCon Preview Exhibition hosted at the prestigious Delaware Museum of Art. As another MuddyColors blogger, William O’Connor just pointed out last week, this museum has one of the greatest collections of narrative, 20th century art in the world. Thus not only do you get to see the best of the 20th Century, you get to peek at some of the best of the 21st as well!
I realize not many of the readers of this blog may be able to attend this singular event, so why point it out? To make anyone who reads this aware that the arts of Imaginative Realism (and therefore Science Fiction and Fantasy) are being embraced ever more fully by established cultural art institutions.
The Prisoner, 2016. Rebecca Guay. oil and resin on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.
The success of a show like this is not about only celebrating those artists in attendance, but rather about how our genre is finding a greater audience and respect for our voices outside the historically range bound insiders. Yes, it would be great to host 200+ artists at an institution like the Delaware Museum of Art, but logistics and reality place a check on that kind of celebration. There will always be limits on who and what can be shown and given voice at any particular event, such is the case for the regular IlluxCon Convention, and is the issue with the San Diego Comic-Con and the New York Comic-Con, etc… There are far more people who want to attend than can be easily accommodated.
What is more important than just whether or not you, as an artist, professional, collector, or fan can make it to any particular event, is the fact that such an event exists at all for you to even consider participating within! With gatherings like Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, WorldCon, Lucca Comics and Games, Star Wars Celebration, and scores of others, it means that there is a lively and ongoing dialogue about what it means to be an artist.
Parallels. Britt Snyder . Oil on Board, 28 x 36.5 inches
These places offer chances to connect to a community that recognizes artistic contribution, creativity, and camaraderie that extend beyond the immediate bounds of the host event. To know that these places are there when you are ready to reach out is as important as making the trip now. The strength of this community is based upon the ongoing support we provide for one another, and the commitment to keep the door open for the next generation.
Thus, while taking a look at the list of events occurring at this week’s IlluxCon preview do not think of what you may be missing, but rather what opportunities will lie ahead for you in future gatherings!
Friday, September 23
10:30 am – 11:30 am: Glory of Stories, Guest storyteller Ruth Sanderson – PAPA GATTO
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm: IX Kick-off Party
Saturday, September 24
10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Check-in and Expo
10:00 am – 1:00 pm: DEMO with Michael Whelan
10:15 am – 12:15 pm: WORKSHOP with Bob Eggleton 1 of 2 (pre-registration required) – Seascapes (see description below)
10:30 am – 11:15 am: ARTIST-LED TOUR with Steve Hickman
10:30 am – 11:30 am: Glory of Stories, Guest storyteller Ruth Sanderson
11:15 am – noon: SKETCHING Tour with Matthew Stewart
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm: KEYNOTE – Dave Palumbo
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: DEMO with Jordu Schell
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm: ARTIST-LED TOUR – Britt Snyder
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: WORKSHOP with Bob Eggleton 2 of 2 (pre-registration required) – Seascapes (see description below)
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm: Curator-led Tour with Delaware Art Museum curator Mary Holahan
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Magic the Gathering Game Night hosted by Days of Knights – For beginners and expert players. Details below
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Outdoor Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Sunday, September 25
10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Check-in (until 2pm) and Expo
10:00 am – 1:00 pm: DEMO with Matt Stawicki (digital)
10:15 am – 12:15 pm: WORKSHOP with Donato Giancola 1 of 2 (pre-registration required) – Drawing Workshop and Lecture: Compositional Drawing
10:30 am – 11:15 am: ARTIST-LED TOUR with Mark Zug
11:15 am – noon: SKETCHING Tour with Julie Bell
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm: KEYNOTE – Greg Hildebrandt
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: DEMO with Dorian Vallejo
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm: ARTIST-LED TOUR with William O’Connor
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: WORKSHOP Donato Giancola 2 of 2 (pre-registration required) – Drawing Workshop and Lecture: Compositional Drawing
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm: Curator-led Tour with Delaware Art Museum Curator Mary Holahan
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm: FILM & DISCUSSION – Art of the Fantastic with Bill Niemeyer and artists
Dream Ripple. Dorian Vallejo, 2014. Oil on canvas, 71×75 inches
Grand Moff Tarkin, Star Wars, Jordu Schell, mixed media.