Another Road Trip, part 2

Our little corner of Spectrum
The reason we trekked all the way out to Kansas City was to attend Spectrum Fantastic Art LIVE 2. This is second year for this particular convention, and while it is still trying to find its feet, we both think they've hit on something good here. Walking out on to the floor can be a bit overwhelming, there's so much amazing art, so many different styles and mediums, and well, just really great art everywhere you turn. You want to talk to everyone and get their story, learn new techniques, talk shop and find out how they are surviving in this crazy world of art. A lot to take in for such a short weekend.

Whenever I had a chance to escape from our booth and check out the rest of the show, I always forgot to take pictures. So here are some quickies I took on one strafing run.
Omar being interviewed. Possibly for a documentary?
Donato, with his super slick professional-looking display
Justin Gerard and Cory Godbey, being happily thronged upon.
Cory had won a Spectrum award the night before, so that added an extra twinkle to his eye, I'm sure.
The rug in the convention center was pretty wild. No diving allowed!
Charles Vess' very large watercolor painting
I'm a big fan of Virginie Ropar's work.
Here's one of her sculptures, with her working in the background on another one.
Articulated doll by Marina Bychkova

At the request of another artist, I had brought along my hair bling so I could teach her how to do it and also put some in her hair. (For those who don't know what I'm talking about -- hair bling is a kind of very thin tinsel you tie to your hair, and it comes in all sorts of colors. It adds a little shine or sparkle to your hair and around December it makes people think you've been walking too close to Christmas trees.) Once I have done one person's hair, usually more show up to get theirs done, which is what happened at this show. Charles Vess was one of those who tracked me down to get "blinged". I love it when men want it done, my ultimate goal is to put some in a nice long beard. Haven't had a chance to yet. Guys with long beards tend to not like other people messing with them. Either that or they are hiding treasure in there and they don't want me finding it. Probably food. Ew. Second thought, maybe I don't want to do that.
Me putting bling in Charles Vess's flowing locks

Saturday night was Award Show night, so they rolled out the red carpet and fed us a yummy BBQ buffet at the Midland Theater. The theater itself is a work of art, lavishly decorated with velvet, carvings, dark wood, marble. You know what I'm talking about. My camera couldn't handle the splendor, so I didn't get many good photos of the interior. Opulence, just think opulence.
On their way to the Award Show, the Spectrum big mucky-mucks.
(l-r) Peter de Sève, Greg Manchess, Irene Gallo, Cathy Fenner, Arnie Fenner, Jon Foster,
Charles Vess, Terryl Whitlatch, Brom, and Tara McPherson

Omar and I, inside the theater, eagerly awaiting the start of the show
Here comes the mother ship! Oh no, wait. It's just a light fixture.
Allen Williams winning Gold for Concept Art (yay Allen!)

Evenings are a time to wind down the day and gather in smaller groups for dinner or drinks or both or neither to talk. Talk about art, not talk about art. Just talk. Talk talk talk talk talk. Most artists I know live pretty secluded lives. It's just the nature of the business. Quiet and alone, you get your work done. And then when you go out, you go OUT. Gotta make up for all that alone time. Most everyone is hoarse by Sunday. If you're not, that means you got some sleep. Or you brought honey.
One of the things on everyone's mind all weekend was the weather. There were severe thunderstorms forecast, and with them, tornado warnings. They were forecast to come in just in time for break down of the show, which means everyone would be hauling their art out in some pretty rough weather. Not something we were looking forward to. We lucked out, though. The bad weather didn't hit until just before sunset, so I think everyone had already packed their art and left by then. We had gone out to dinner and had just returned to our hotel when the skies opened up with a humdinger of a thunderstorm.
A real gulleywasher
We hit the road for home the next morning, with more thunderstorms skittering around us. Tornado warnings were still in effect, and we were happy to get outta there. I know of a few people who were flying out that got stuck for a few days more than planned because of the weather. We drove through one storm Monday, and while it wasn't too bad for us, I believe it was part of the line of storms that  decimated Oklahoma City, a very sobering thought. After one last crazy thunderstorm caught up to us while we rested in Indianapolis, the remainder of the trip home was fairly uneventful.
The cleanest food in town
Traffic jams are the perfect time to pause and reflect

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