-By Arnie Fenner
|Kristine and Colin Poole have sculpted, cast in bronze, and hand-finished the Spectrum 23 Gold, Silver, and Grand Master Awards.|
John Fleskes has posted the list of artists selected for inclusion in the annual and announced the Spectrum 23 award finalists in eight categories as determined by a jury consisting of David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen, and Terryl Whitlatch (you can learn much more about each judge by hitting this link). While Spectrum Fantastic Art Live—which has included the awards ceremony for the past 4 years in Kansas City—is being revisioned for San Francisco in 2017, John and his Advisory Board wanted to continue the tradition of a Spring gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of our community. The historic Society of Illustrators in New York seemed like the perfect place to hold the ceremony and, thanks to Anelle Miller and her gracious staff at the SoI, the arrangements have been made for a gala evening May 7. The Grand Master Award will also be presented during the festivities. Because of limited seating it will be RSVP and I'll share details on how to attend (and who this year's award presenters will be) in the very near future.
|Norman Rockwell's painting, "The Dover Coach," greets visitors to the bar at the Society of Illustrators|
Having art make it through an arduous jury process and being selected for inclusion in Spectrum (or any number of other worthwhile annuals) is an accomplishment in itself; being considered for a Gold or Silver Award should always be considered a happy, if unexpected, surprise. I've said in the past that awards are not won, they're earned. On their own they don't make careers—that's up to each artist to achieve for themselves—but they can certainly help them. As can being nominated or to be accepted into an annual; the old comment of "it's an honor to be..." is often repeated simply because it's true. Dan dos Santos and Justin Gerard provided some perspective on competitions and awards awhile back that are valuable reads.
Receiving an award doesn't guarantee piles of cash or legions of clients or patrons; it doesn't make the day-to-day work any easier. Awards—and the ceremonies often wrapped around them—are symbols, not exactly of some kind of carved-in-stone success, but simply of respect both from and, ideally, for our community. Regardless of the outcome, the results are a positive for everyone: joining together to celebrate skill and imagination encourages each of us while the more attention we can attract for our field, for the creators and their work, the greater the opportunities for all.
But now, without further ado, this year's nominees for the Gold and Silver Spectrum Awards. Congratulations—and good luck!—to one and all!