Ok, I exaggerate. Or do I? Nah. IlluxCon is the best convention dedicated to sf/f Art in the world, today. Yes, Spectrum Live! it’s got you beat! I’m throwing down the gauntlet!
Don’t believe me?
1) Where else are you going to find the world’s best and most-renowned artists in the field, all showing their work under one roof – and that roof now belongs to a Museum? [The Allentown Museum, Allentown, PA- and see link for more photos]
2) Where else but IlluxCon will you find hundreds of major ORIGINAL works from major artists from the U.S., the UK, and Spain for sale? Where what you see is the real McCoy (not prints!) and artists in one weekend can realize the same sales as years’ worth of Worldcons, with only about 200 attendees?
3) Where else can you find artists, collectors, art fans, art students and art pros…all schmoozing in an atmosphere that is cordial, congenial, friendly? It may be a “tiny” show compared to Dragon*Con or San Diego Comicon, but it’s amazing! See https://www.facebook.com/illuxcon
IlluxCon 6 has come and gone (Sept 11-15) and it was the most successful to date. Consider the line-up of artists who flew in from England, alone: Chris Achilleos, Jim Burns, Roger Dean, John Harris, Ralph Horsley, Ian Miller, Chris Moore. And from Sitges, Spain there was Ciruelo Cabral.
The con attracted so many luminaries in the field that I can’t take the space to list them all….but these names should ring immediate “bells” for anyone who tracks fantasy illustration: Julie Bell, Kinuko Craft, Bob Eggleton, Donato Giancola, Steve Hickman, Greg Hildebrandt, Tom Kidd, Don Maitz, Boris Vallejo, Michael Whelan. More than FORTY artists who worked on role-playing and collector card games like the Magic:The Gathering game were also there, including Volkan Baga, Jeff Easley, Lars Grant-West, Jeff Laubenstein, Mark Poole, Chris Rahn, Matt Stewart, Mark Zug and many many more.
Established and run by art collectors Pat and Jeannie Wilshire, IlluxCon is a miraculous place where as far as the eye can see there are only artists and collectors, reinforced by enthusiastic art students, dedicated art fans and important art directors. There is nothing to distract anyone from what they came for: art. There is one small display of art books, should anyone want to buy one. And a small stack of t-shirts, for those who need a souvenir. Other than that, absolutely nothing to detract from the art on display. No media celebrities signing photos, no costumers, no cosplay, no gaming, no authors reading from their latest novel, no dealer’s room for trinkets, no nothin’ that’s not 100% related to ART and the people who create it.
There was a main show (4 days), a weekend “salon” for artists who couldn’t stay the full four days (including displays by Dorian Vallejo, Rebecca Guay, Bruce Jensen, Janny Wurts and dozens of others) Plus two juried “showcase” nights for emerging artists and students – giving them an unheard of opportunity to show off their talents to major collectors and art directors.
Every inch of space is utilized, so everyone stays “up close and personal” There’s no waiting to talk to anyone, or to get your book or card signed. It’s a place so small, that you’re never more than a few steps away from anyone. And just like the artists, collectors flew in from far flung places: Canada, Hawaii, even Texas! 🙂
IlluxCon is so far ahead of anything else on the convention map, that it pains me to recall the last decade of Worldcons, whether fantasy, science fiction or horror. None of them can compare.