by Arnie Fenner

I try not to talk about Spectrum too much here on Muddy Colors—though sincerely appreciate it that others have and really want to deeply thank everyone that recently participated in #18—simply because we have an official website already (maintained by our capable son, Arlo Burnett, and administrative assistant, Jackie Miles).
But there are a couple of Spectrum-related things in the offing that are part-and-parcel with what we’ve been trying to do all along and which I think will be of interest to many visitors here. Honestly, I’m pretty excited about them. Though the second bit of news will have to hold for at least a few days until some of the niggling details are ironed out (it’s worth waiting for, trust me), the first…well, the first is something we want everyone to start talking about. It’s sort of a “preview” announcement, I guess, but with these sorts of things it’s never too early to set the wheels turning—and part of that process is in reaching out. We want opinions. We want in-put. We want suggestions. Because Spectrum has always been about community, about all of the artists joining together to call attention to our profession, to what we do. And what is this great and mysterious something we want people to start talking about?

We’ve reserved the Grand Ballroom in the Kansas City Convention Center—46,000+ square feet of first-class exhibition space. We’re also looking to rent either the adjacent Folly Theater or the nearby Midland Theater for a special event one night—the live presentation of that year’s (#19’s) Spectrum Award winners. Hotels and restaurants (cheap or expensive) and bars and theaters are all within short walking distance of the convention center. Our goal is to create an art faire for fantastic creators of all stripes and all sensibilities—a gathering of the tribes, so to speak—where they can sell their work to the public without competing with movie studios and Playboy bunnies and actors for attention. A central locale that won’t break the bank to get to, show at, stay or eat at. A venue where artists can socialize with their contemporaries and peers, workshop, share, and promote. A place where fans and collectors of all manner of fantastic art—for comics and books and films and the gallery market—can meet their favorites and buy originals and prints. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to meet and be inspired by some of the legends in our field. A, once again, community…coming together to celebrate our field and our craft, to help tell people first-hand what the fantastic arts are all about. Details—the hows, the whys, the wheres, and, yes, the cost—will be released in the weeks ahead. But in the meantime, a question:
What do you think a “fantastic art convergence” should include?
Discuss. Please.