Many of you are familiar with the tradition of the MicroVisions show, curated by Dan Dos Santos, Irene Gallo, & Greg Manchess. Every year, a number of artists created and donated small originals to be auctioned off to benefit the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Fund. Over the many years that MicroVisions was held, it raised over $30,000 for the scholarship.
|Sam Weber, Yuko Shimizu, Nicolas Delort|
It’s no secret that the MicroVisions show was part of the inspiration for Every Day Original, so Marc Scheff & I were especially honored when Irene, Dan, & Greg stepped down and asked us if we would take over the show. We were honored and excited, but also mildly terrified. Big shoes to fill.
|Robert Hunt, Jeffrey Alan Love, Anita Kunz|
We decided it wouldn’t be right to just assume the name MicroVisions—it needed to be retired with honor. So we brainstormed a lot of ideas, and came up with a name that was new, but also felt related to the MicroVisions name. We came up with the name “Visionarium”, and a logo—both of which, we felt, spoke to the fantasy illustration roots of the show, but left room for a wider group of artists.
Curation and Art Direction are related, but very different. As Marc put it, an AD works at your target, and a Curator has to find it for you. In other words, as an Art Director, we have to give someone’s idea to an artist to interpret. When curating, you’re giving the artist only the barest of perimeters, and then pushing them to come up with their own ideas. We didn’t have an assignment, this was one of those dreaded “whatever you want” situations. Personal work has a huge part to play in a show like this, because we to pick people who show dedication to their own growth outside of “work.”
|Karla Ortiz, Allen Williams, Marc Burckhardt|
We want to thank all the artists who donated works, when their schedules are so overburdened. We appreciate that they didn’t delete our emails initially because they were too busy—and we especially appreciate each and every piece of work that came in, because they are all magnificent! The internet doesn’t do them justice, trust me.
|Rob Rey, Greg Ruth, Kadir Nelson|
The auctions are live now on ebay. They end October 7th. Bid now, and know that not only are you winning a gorgeous piece of art, you’re also helping out a very good cause. And you can download hi-res images here.
The history of the Student Scholarship is an impressive one. Since its inception, it has bestowed over one million dollars to the award winners. A Jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, review approximately 8,000 entries every year. From this selection the jury reconvenes to review the original paintings and honor select pieces with cash awards. Illustrators who have been featured in the show have gone on to become some of the field’s brightest stars.
Nice job. I remember that lunch when Irene mentioned that Microvisions would be ending and we all were enthusiastic about keeping something going for the scholarship.
Open Letter to the Society Of Illustrators, Sam, Mark and Lauren.
I dont understand why you had a chance to celebrate the world of illustration with a new Visionarium, and yet you chose violence.
Sam You created an image of a brutilized, bound woman and Mark and Lauren and the Society you are using it to raise money to help teach students.
I think it is sad and disappointing after all the articles in Muddy Colors about celebrating Sci fi and Fantasy, lifting it up at Spectrum Live, helping Woman artists get more recognition, and the importance of art and its ability to communicate ideas, Boot camp for artists, copyright law -respecting artist rights, etc, and yet you chose an image that brutilizes a person and demeans them… why would you do that?
You don’t need to explain it to me, take your painting to a Woman’s shelter, or to the Parents, Child, or Sibling of a Female Human Being who’s been bound and hurt against there will. Or explain to a refugee in a Syrian Refugee camp who was raped as part of an ISIS ritual. Explain to them why this image should be celebrated and used to raise scholarship money. No doubt the image won't just be an image for sale, but a real and terrifying nightmare that was all to real.
Let me get this straight — according to your posts here, dressing comic book women in too-sexy outfits needs to stop because the “Male Gaze”, but a painting showing a nude woman, restrained with ropes, being horribly mutilated with a knife, THAT gets your endorsement.
And Frank Cho gets crap over of silly drawing of Spider-Gwen. Jesus wept!
The piece the artist donates is up to the artist, we don't censor them. As for Sam's piece, it is an illustration from a story about violence done to people's bodies. I read that piece as commentary, but far from glorification. You don't identify with the perpetrators, but the anguish of the victim. Hence, the victim has the agency of emotion in the piece. It is not a comfortable subject, but not all artwork is meant to be comfortable. However, I do not find it exploitative, nor “for the male gaze”.
Half of our response to a piece of art comes from the artist, and half from ourselves. That's why art is so powerful. I'm not going to tell anyone they can't be or shouldn't be offended by the piece. Your response is your own right. However, I do not see an offensive or objectifying piece here, just one that provokes uncomfortable thoughts and issues.
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