Thursday, January 25, 2018

Spectrum Deadline Today

Detail of Spectrum poster by Scott Gustafson
Today is the deadline for entering the annual Spectrum competition. Spectrum is one of the few juried showcases that I enter each year, and here are some of the reasons I why think it stands out from the rest:
  1. The people who run Spectrum don't try too hard to define the category beyond calling it "contemporary fantastic art." Broadly speaking, it encompasses fantasy, science fiction, concept art, 3D, comics, paleoart, and experimental unpublished work. The people who run the organization don't have an axe to grind in terms of the art they like or don't like. They allow Spectrum to be defined purely by what artists choose to enter and what the jury chooses to honor.
  2. The jury is different each year, so the selection isn't tied to one person's taste. They meet in Kansas City Santa Cruz for the jury process, but their choices for accepted entries are uninfluenced by other jurors. The jury is comprised of leading artists, art directors, and teachers. This year it's a dream-team gathering of industry legends: Terry DodsonTyler JacobsonTran NguyenKarla Ortiz, and Charles S. Pyle
  3. The accepted entries are all published in a big hardbound book which gets wide distribution in bookstores and online. So art buyers and fellow artists will see your work. 
  4. That book is provided free to every person who has an accepted entry, no matter where they live around the world (Edit: The Spectrum book is shipped for free to artists living in the USA, and there's a $35 fee for shipping overseas). This is a very expensive proposition, and it's a contrast to other competitions that are set up to get artists to purchase vanity books.
  5. The entry fees have been kept very low, and they haven't gone up: just $20 for a single entry and $40 for a series of five or fewer.
  6. The digital entry form is easy to use. If you really want to, you can still send in print entries if they're postmarked today, but this is the last year they'll accept print entries. Here's a link to frequently asked questions.
  7. It's hard to get in, with one of the smallest acceptance/entry ratios. Even though that can be disappointing, it's a good thing, because it means you'll be in good company if your piece gets picked.
Here's the current edition, Spectrum 24: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art 304 pages, 300 artists, 9 x 12 inches. 


Lynn said...

This is off topic to your blogpost today, but I know several times you have featured posts regarding the simple box pin hole camera, the camera lucida maybe?
This is a 6 minute video showing a complete process of a huge box and photos taken both inside and outside LACMA. It appears to be an ongoing project to some extent.
Hope you enjoy.

James Gurney said...

Lynn, are you asking if I did a post about it, or are you saying I should check it out? It sounds interesting, anyway.

Lynn said...

So Sorry - I meant to include the link and forgot.

It's made by Sotheby's who are funding the work.


Daroo said...

I love the tiger lady cover -- thought something about the eyes, looked Ian McCaig-ish , looked it up -- it is!

Thanks for the post!