The International 2011-2012 ARC Salon Award Winners were just announced, and there was a very strong showing of Science Fiction/Fantasy illustrators this year. In fact, many of them took home prizes.

The word ‘illustration’ is often thought of a dirty word in the fine art scene, which I’ve always found perplexing. To me, commercial illustrators are some of the most talented artists in the world. So it’s very nice to see high fantasy art (complete with dragons in some cases!), receive such notoriety along side traditional portraiture and still lives.

I have no doubt I’ll miss a few, but just some of the Illustrators to take home awards include:

Donato Giancola
1st Place: Most Ambitious Work
Julie Bell
1st Place: Animal Category
Sam Burley
Most Creative Work
David Palumbo
Finalist: Figure Category
Don Maitz
Finalist: Figure Category
Howard Lyon
Finalist: Figure Category
Heather Theurer
Finalist: Figure Category
Patrick Jones
Finalist: Figure Category
Thomas Kuebler
Finalist: Sculpture Category
James Gurney
Finalist: Animal Category

There are, of course, a TON of other amazing and well deserving works. I highly recommend you go take a look at them at The Art Renewal Center’s website. Be sure to click on each piece, as most of them have extremely hi-rez scans for your perusal.