(Article originally appeared in Fine Art Connoisseur, July/August 2013 by Max Gillies)
For insights into a dynamic field that overlaps with the art highlighted in these pages, readers of Fine Art Connoisseur should consider attending IlluXcon 6. Set to occur September 11-15 at Pennsylvania’s Allentown Art Museum, this is the world’s only annual convention of artists, students, collectors, and fans of imaginative realist art. At IlluXcon’s heart will be an exhibition of more than 1,000 original artworks created by over 80 contemporary artists, including the two illustrated here, which were specially commissioned for the event. Every exhibiting artist will be present for the entire symposium, and most works will be available for purchase.
IlluXcon was launched six years ago by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire, who have also co-founded the Association of Fantastic Art and the Illustration Exchange, and who guest-curated the Allentown Art Museum’s successful exhibition last summer, At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic. The Wilshires are currently writing their third book in the field, a critical history of imaginative realism that will clarify, among other contributions, how such historical masters as Gérôme, Waterhouse, Vedder, Pyle, and Parrish have inspired the renaissance in storytelling art we see around us today.
Beyond its massive exhibition, IlluXcon 6 will offer lectures, workshops, demos, and portfolio reviews through which participants can truly get to know each other. The Wilshires are proud of the fact that here, “egos are checked at the door, there are no ‘Guests of Honor,’ and the highly recognized artist takes away just as much as the newly established artist/student.” Multi-day passes can be purchased online now. Single-day tickets for Saturday and Sunday will be available at the door.