Monday, May 1, 2017

Photo Series: Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2017

Alessandra Pisano, momentarily overwhelmed while accepting the Rising Star award

I went out to SFAL this year with no booth and no real mission other than to reconnect with friends and to enjoy our community. For me, that is the one thing that only a convention (and only certain ones at that) can deliver. Since I was flying solo for the weekend, free of responsibilities and surrounded by people who inspire me, it seemed like creating a photo journal of the trip would be a good project.

I found this brought on an interesting inside-but-also-outside feeling. For example, having a good time at a late night party but still wandering off occasionally to see what else is happening and catch any good moments I might otherwise miss. My thought was I could try, as a conscious effort, to observe things from a bit more of a neutral distance. Inevitably though, I found the story that my photos were telling to be playing heavily to my social comfort zones. In other words, I often hang out with certain folks at these events and they were showing up disproportionately in my shots. If there's anything I feel I missed out on, it was not getting a wider representation of people, friends and strangers alike. In the end though, it's a document of the show as I saw it: a story of aspirations, friendships, and the massive tapestry of respect and admiration which holds our very special community together.

See the full set on my Flickr

Talking art at the Alamo Drafthouse opening night party

James Gurney giving a lively demo

Mark Nelson (left) fliping through his originals with Daren Bader

Booth neighbors Laura Garabedian (left) and Mariya Prytula  chatting mid show

Lingering audience members getting an up close look at some J.A.W. Cooper originals after her demo

Making dinner plans during a brief lights-out

Dawn Carlos (far right) preparing to turn a T-Rex loose on the life drawing session

Donato Giancola sketching

George Pratt painting at the Illustration Academy booth

Voler – Thieves of Flight

Laurie Lee Brom presenting a gold award to Brom. It's a rare and touching moment to see an award presenter honor their spouse

Newly minted Spectrum Grand Master Bill Sienkiewicz at the award show afterparty

Lauren Panepinto and Jerry Trapp fixing up amazing cocktails for what would be the shortest
lived room party I have ever seen (busted up by The Man)

The gorgeous newly designed Spectrum Award, sculpted by J Anthony Kosar, sitting triumphantly on Bill Carman's table

Con besties Travis Lewis and Alessandra Pisano

Some down time in the mezzanine

The late night crew heading back to hotels after closing down the Alamo Drafthouse bar

Spectrum 24 award winners


  1. Absolutely stunning, Dave! Thank you! (And the mischievous look on Lauren's face was clearly a prediction that Trouble would come knocking.)

    1. oh yes. I knew it would happen, just didn't think it would happen THAT FAST

    2. Damn volleyball kids! No respect! :-)

  2. Having been a witness to many of those moments, it's fascinating to see how they were transformed and elevated by your vision. The choice to take away color adds a kind of quiet drama and mystery.

    1. Thanks! I sent you some more from your demo too, let me know if you didn't get them!

  3. There is just something about B&W-beautiful work!

    1. thanks and agreed, I've been really the B&W lately. It helps me really give my attention to the shapes of an image I think

  4. It's hard to believe it's been over a week since I've seen everyone.
    This SFAL was pretty special for a lot of reasons.
    I laughed, I cried, got ejected from a hotel party, and managed to make a little money in the process.
    Can't wait to see my art family again.

    Thanks for the memories, Dave!

  5. Reminds me of a high school yearbook.

  6. Lovely journal Dave... my first time at SFAL but it certainly didn't feel like it. Such a great point of view in your photos.

    1. what really? Yeah feels like you've always been there.

  7. Dave, I love these photos! The one of Alessandra getting the award was awesome and really brings me back to the award show, stoked she won the rising star award. And the picture of all us in the hall about to unleash the BrynnosaurusRex - brings me right back to the snickers and giggles of the shenanigans we all took part in! These are lovely Dave. Do you mind if I save some of these and email them to my Dad? He's been asking for photos to go with the stories I've been telling him :)

    1. Thanks! And of course, you should be able to download whatever from the Flickr.

  8. A great look Dave. Thanks for doing this and sharing these. Great to see you.


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