Friday, January 22, 2010

ARISIA - exploring new worlds

Wow, a week slips by quickly when life is full. (Maybe posting every other week is more realistic than weekly?) Last Friday I set up at the art show of Arisia - New England’s largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention Set up on the 16th floor of the hotel looking over the Charles river. Not a bad view as you can tell from the photo!. Of course I had to restrain my figures (and myself) from just flying off into the wild blue yonder. There was a wide range of art including paintings, sculptural work (favorites: steam punk sculpture by Butch Honeck - won best of show)and “Portal” by Tamara Gurevitz), jewelry (including Kendra Tornheim’s keys) costumes, and more. This year’s artist guest of honor was: Sarah Clemens . Panel discussions were primarily on the first and second floors, with vendors set up in rooms on the 3rd floor. So took effort to check out the art show on 16. Next year Arisia is moving to the Westin Waterfront where there will be more space. Since I wanted to attend panels, I chose not to be in the art show instead of being a vendor. My aim was to let folks see my work who don’t regularly attend the fine craft shows I do. Sales in the art show were via quick sale or silent auction slips. Most items purchased were lower end, but not exclusively. I opted to bring mostly med/large pieces to show range of work rather than consider what items might actually sell. I have had one post con order which pleased me. Next year’s artist guest of honor is glass artist Josh Simpson which could pull in more of the craft artists I know.

Once set up, I was free to attend panels. This post would be much too long to describe all possibilities since scheduling begins Friday evening and goes night and day through Monday afternoon, but here is a brief list of some of the panels I attended: Filk 101; Movie Year in Review, Non-Standard Fantasy, Tools for Digital Art, Interstitial Fiction:Dancing Between Genres; Inherent Darkness of Fairy Tales, Creature and Character, Faeries of Color: Tales of the Fae beyond Europe, Myth and Folklore in Fantasy, Kick-Ass Moms (in fiction). Sat. eve I stayed around for the Masquerade since I had missed it at Dragon*Con (fun costumes and skits - tiny kids to experienced performers...not quite as many extraordinary costumes as at Dragon*Con...though I did like the “Mother Nature” costume with decorated pg. belly), went to readings (by Shira Lipkin and others) and attended the Carl Brandon Society ceremony where awards were given to Andrea Hairston (for her novel, Mindscape) and to Nnedi Okorafor for The Shadow Speaker. They also read from their books. I had connected with Andrea during earlier panels and will definitely stay in touch. I’m reading Mindscape now (love hearing Andrea’s voice as I read) and look forward to picking up Nnedi’s books - Zahrah, the Windseeker as well as The Shadow Speaker and seeing how she integrates some of the elements of the Nigerian folks tales her parents and grandparents told her. In Zahrah there is a flying girl - so naturally it is high on my reading list.

Other people I enjoyed getting to know at Arisia : Daniel Rabuzzi (on a lot of the myth and folklore panels. I picked up his new book: The Choir Boats) and his wife and master wood carver, Deborah Mills . Oh yes, I also attended the Arisia corporate meeting, representing the Board of the Interstitial Art Foundation. The IAF applied to Arisia for a grant to help with the publication of Interfictions 2 and our outreach. It was awarded, and a check written right on the spot!

All in all......a very full and energizing weekend...brimming with creative energy, challenge, and fun. Not long ago, I had never heard about the world of Cons - never guessing it was so extensive and pervasive - literary , sci fi, fantasy, faerie...and on and on. Just shows what stepping outside one’s box can reveal! I’m still sorting out which if any make sense for me. My favorite “con” type experience still remains Mythic Journeys 04 in Atlanta put on by the Mythic Imagination Institute:
That was where I felt most at home. I’m still hoping another such event will occur.

After the con (and an equally intriguing Art Salon held in a house up the street on Monday) I returned to my dining-room-dominating dragon!...Next post, back to the dragon!!!

Peace and onward, Wendy

P.S. - All the artist above have websites. I'm still trying to figure out how to
put links into my please google them yourselves until I figure all this
out! Help with this anyone??


  1. wow! it sounds like an incredibly full convention! love love love your dragon books! Linda Esterley

  2. Linda - Thanks for the comment...and help re links. I've posted website links on the side
    of the blog now everyone!...Check them out!