For the second time in the history of the convention, there was a second art show at Illuxcon this year: The showcase. Contrary to the main show where artists are handpicked, the showcase was open to all on a first come first serve basis. It was open during limited hours (Friday night and Saturday until noon) and there were no lectures or other activities going on at the same time.
35 tables were available and pretty cheap too (30$ a pop) and the show was held in the ballroom of the Altoona Ramada hotel, which was the hotel where most attendees were staying in the first place. Friday night was packed! The tables formed a rectangle and on the side opposite the door where the people who started right and the people who started left met, it was a pretty big traffic jam.
It didn’t help that Petar Meseldzija was showing off the art or The Legend of Steel Bashaw right in that spot too. I think it’s safe to say that Petar was the surprise star of the showcase and by the time I made my way to his table, his book Bron Van Verbeelding was sold out.
I met plenty of other artists in the showcase, some of whom I knew from forums but had never met in person such as Joe Wilson, Noah Bradley and Kirsten Zirngibl. Noah had probably the best promo scheme of the showcase, he was giving away fantastic prints of his grandiose environments which made everyone else look like a cheapskate. I chose the End of Sorrow one.
I also discovered many new artists. It’s not possible to name them all here (admittedly, it was a sensory overload and there are people I would forget.) Here are a few highlights for me.
Sam Burley, who also does enviros with an amazing sense of scale. You might have seen his turtle shaped mountain when browsing forums, everyone seems to know it!
Chris Burdett and his amazing Mutation Nation creatures, seriously, an angler fish and an elephant? That’s badass.
Lauren K Cannon, I only got the talk with Lauren later in the weekend but I had seen her art in the showcase. Eerie stuff.
All in all, the showcase is a fantastic opportunity, I hope I can have a table next year.