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Archive for the ‘Art Shows’ Category

Capricon 32 Science Fiction Convention

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Beyond the Mountains Exoplanet Landscape Painting
Beyond the Mountains exoplanet landscape painting

This weekend I’ll be attending the 32nd Capricon Science Fiction Convention being held at the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling, IL. The theme this year is Amazing Adventures. I’ve attended quite a few Capricon’s over the years and they’ve always been fun. In addition to participating in the con’s programming, I’ve participated in their art show for the last several years.

With respect to programming, this year I am giving one presentation – The Art of the Exploration of Space. In this talk, I give an overview of the development of space art and how that art evolved over time to reflect the realities of aerospace engineering. I pay particular attention to the means by which art is used to portray space exploration, from exploratory to educational to inspirational. I also talk about the NASA Art Program and NASA’s recognition of the emotional impact of art vs photography. I even sneak some of my own space art into the talk.

I will also be moderating the panel Goodbye, Space Shuttle where we’ll be discussing human access to space in the post-Space Shuttle era. Joining me will be Henry Spencer, all the way from Canada and a co-panelist on a number of past space panels, and Chris Gerrib, whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting.

Lastly, I will be a panelist on the Pluto Is Still a Planet in Illinois panel. Moderating will be friend and scientist Bill Higgins. My fellow panelists will be Brother Guy Consolmagno (who was actually at the 2006 IAU conference at which Pluto was relegated to dwarf planet status) and Steven Silver. One of the questions the panel is asked to answer is Why are we still so invested in the classification of this distant object? In the case of Illinois politicians, I’m betting it’s because the chuckle heads, eer elected representatives, in Springfield would prefer to deal with weighty issues like Pluto’s planetary status rather than the financial and ethical holes they’ve dug the state into.

Uncharacteristically, I have not yet decided whether or not I am going to participate in the Capricon art show. Sunday has limited programming and I am not on any panels that day. Not participating in the art show frees up my Sunday which works out exceedingly well for me as I have other commitments that day.

Looking over the programming line up, you may find me in the audience of the following panels:

  • Whither Goes the Art Show?
  • Chicon 7: The 2012 Worldcon Open Meeting
  • Civil Disobedience: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Movement
  • Dystopia Now
  • Fan Artists You Should Know
  • SF/F Music that Isn’t Filk
  • The Coming War on General Purpose Computation
  • There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow! The Disney Imagineering Panel
  • We Do It in Groups: Fandom and Social Media

You can get all your Capricon questions answered at the Capricon web site.

The Illustration

To illustrate this post I decided to use a relatively recent digital painting I created and only added to my web site today. Beyond the Mountains is a minimalist representation of an exoplanet landscape.

Bon Voyage, Jim

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The 2011 Windycon Science Fiction Convention

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Madame Machine
Madame Machine digital painting

November means that it’s time for the Windycon Science Fiction Convention. In addition to participating in the con’s programming, I will also have some art in the convention’s art show. Even though the art show set up is tomorrow, I have yet to decide which pieces I will show. Off the table is my astronaut art, which is available for purchase locally only through Paper Crown Art Gallery.

Friday night (11/11/11) at 9:00pm I’ll be attending the Art Show Wine and Cheese Reception. This is a great opportunity for convention goers to nibble on various cheeses, drink some wine, and talk with the artists whose art is in the show. Note that this is the only time that food and drink are allowed in the art show.

On Saturday at 11:00am I’ll be moderating the panel Online Portfolios. The panel is described in the program book as follows:

Should you use a photo hosting site like Flickr? Or would an artistic community like Deviant Art be better? Are there benefits for using a paid service over a free service? Join us while we discuss the pros and cons of the different options.

Joining me will be co-panelists Lucy Ayyat and Deb Kosiba. Anyone interested in exhibiting their art or photography online should attend this panel.

At 3:00 I’ll be doing a space exploration panel. My co-panelists for the Not Dead Yet: NASA’s Upcoming Missions, Despite Public Belief There Will Be No More will be friend Christian Ready, friend and fellow National Space Society director Jeffrey Liss, friend and fellow member of the Chicago Society for Space Studies Bill Higgins. This promises to be a very interesting panel and one that I am really looking forward to. There is sure to be lively debate on the future of NASA given the budget deficit and national debt crisis.

At 5:00pm on Saturday I’ll be doing a combination presentation and tutorial. Titled Processing for Artists and Photographers, I’ll be explaining what Processing is (an open source digital creativity platform designed to be a programming platform friendly to non-programmers) and demonstrating a number of different programs that I’ve written.

The Illustration

The artwork that I am using to illustrate this post is a tightly cropped version of Madame Machine (the original is 11 by 14 inches). If you’re familiar with the classic science fiction film Metropolis, you will know that in the movie the Man-Machine assumes the guise of the fair Maria. Thus, outwardly, the Man-Machine becomes a She-Machine. This is one of the works of art that I will be bringing to the Windycon Art Show, most appropriate for a science fiction convention. Unfortunately I have not added this art to my web site yet.

Reference Links

See you at the con. Jim

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2011 DucKon Science Fiction Convention

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Duckon 2011 Opening Ceremonies Guests of Honor
DucKon 2011 Opening Ceremonies Guests of Honor

Yesterday morning I arrived at the DucKon Science Fiction Convention in Schaumburg to set up for the art show. Because of everything else that is going on just now, I did not decide until the last minute to participate in the convention’s art show. I had committed months ago to participating in the con’s programming but held off on deciding about the art show.

I did not bring very many pieces to hang in the art show. The pieces that I did bring for the show are:

Looking over the list I’m pleased to say that 4 out of the 5 are actually on my web site. Typically fewer than half are.

This morning (Saturday) I’ll be heading back to the convention. This will be my busy day as my presentation and all my panels are scheduled for today. My line up is:

It Started With The Hubble: A 20 Year Retrospective Of The Manned Space Program
A panel discussion overview of the past twenty years of the shuttle program, from the Hubble Space Telescope to the International Space Station.
For my part, I do hope to actually talk a little about the Hubble Space Telescope, which presents us with two very different categories of impacts. The first is the impact Hubble observations have had on our understanding of the universe. These impacts include a much more accurate measure of the Hubble Constant – which tells us about the age of the universe; the presence of super-massive black holes at the centers of galaxies; and the strange matter of dark energy and the accelerated expansion of the universe. The second area is the area of astronomical art aesthetics and the impact that Hubble’s observations have had on how astronomical art is portrayed.
Space 2031
In twenty years will there be a Chinese base on the moon? Will American astronauts be buzzing near-earth asteroids? Just where, in space, will we be in twenty years. This panel discussion will explore what our future in space may be.
Audio Interactive Art: Science as Art
My talk’s title is actually Live Art and combines a presentation about the tools of new media art with a dash of computer art history followed by audience participation in the creation of several works of digital art through the use of sound. More about this and some of my other presentations can be found on my Art Lectures page.
Privateers In Space!
With NASA’s attempts switch to private companies to provide launch services, Virgin Galactic’s sub-orbital flights, and Google’s Lunar “X Prize”, start-up companies are jumping at the chance to get into space. Where will this lead us over the next 20 years?

So today promises to be a busy day at DucKon. FYI, DucKon’s Guests of Honor this year are:

  • Literary:Tamora PierceWebsite
  • Artist:Ursula VernonWebsite
  • Filk:Gary HanakWebsite
  • Filk Fund Guests:Nate and Louie Bucklin
  • Fan:William and Trudi Puda
  • Writer:Shirley DamsgaardWebsite
  • Science:”The Last Shuttle Team”Website

If you’re attending the con, don’t forget to check out the art show.

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Art Exhibit and Web Site Updates

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Fremont Public Library in Mundelein IL
Fremont Public Library in Mundelein IL

I must say that 2011 has not been a good year for posting to my blog. Looking back, I can see that my pace has slackened significantly from what it was in the past. If you visit my Facebook page – Artsnova Art of Jim Plaxco you’ll see that my postings there have been equally erratic. There are so many things going on and just not enough time for all of them.

However, I have been continuing to make additions to the Artsnova web site. Specifically, this year I’ve added:

With respect to my art, I spent part of today setting up an art exhibit at the Fremont Public Library in Mundelein, IL. I was only able to exhibit 11 framed works of art as each of my pieces was of a decent size and I quickly filled the space available. My art will be on display in the library until July 11, 2011.

Fremont Public Library Mundelein Art Display 1st Floor
Fremont Public Library Mundelein Art Display 1st Floor

The art on the first floor is in an excellent location from a visibility perspective. Upon entering the library, the art is easily visible. Note that additional wall space is reserved for another artist who is also a member of the Northwest Cultural Council Corporate Art Gallery Program. Fortunately the display space I received is slightly larger and better positioned than the alternate space.

Fremont Public Library Mundelein Art Display 2nd Floor
Fremont Public Library Mundelein Art Display 2nd Floor

The art space on the second floor is much smaller and not so well positioned. However, as it turns out my art is located right next to the tax forms so for the next week or so it should be seen by lots of folks who, like myself, have waited to the last minute to do their taxes.

In other news, I’ll be speaking at the DucKon Science Fiction Convention in June and will also be in their art show. Because of that, I decided to not display any of my astronomical art or space art at the library.

I still don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the 2011 International Space Development Conference. While I did do a presentation about space art at last year’s conference, I did not submit any proposals this year due to not being certain of being able to attend. Missing the ISDC would be quite unfortunate as I am on the Board of Directors for the National Space Society and it is at the ISDC that one of the two annual board meetings is held.

To close, I leave you with a quote from scientist and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke: "The astronomical artist will always be far ahead of the explorer. They can depict scenes that no human eye will ever see, because of their danger, or their remoteness in time and space."

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Artist’s Reception And Poetry Reading in Arlington Heights IL

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Photoshop Abstract Whirlpool digital art
Photoshop Abstract Whirlpool

The Northwest Cultural Council will host an Artist’s Reception and Poetry Reading on Saturday July 17, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

The artist’s reception and poetry reading will be held at the Arlington Green Executive Centre located at 2101 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL.

I will be attending the artist’s reception and am looking forward to the opportunity to meet both those interested in my art as well as the other artists.

Unlike my last art exhibit at the Arlington Green Executive Centre Gallery, which consisted solely of abstract computer art, this time my works are space art and astronomical art.

The art exhibit is a part of the Northwest Cultural Council Corporate Gallery Exhibition Program. The Northwest Cultural Council’s Corporate Gallery Exhibits reflect a wide variety of media, artistic expression and vision of the artists. Artists with work on display in the art exhibit are:

Betty Morley Arlington Heights
Mirella Scully Mount Prospect
Min Ja Lah Schaumburg
Carl Jalowiec Palatine
Beverly Miotke Roselle
Claire Vogt Wally Barrington
Gail Baar Buffalo Grove
Joan Brinkworth Arlington Heights
Jim Plaxco Schaumburg
Irene Oleksiuk North Barrington
William Dunn Arlington Heights
Robert Cobb Rolling Meadows
Deanna Goldberg Buffalo Grove

The art currently on exhibit at the Arlington Green Executive Centre will remain on display through August 2, 2010. The art can be viewed Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

All art in the exhibit is for sale with a percentage of the sale price being a tax-deductible donation to support the activities of the Northwest Cultural Council, a not-for-profit community agency bringing visual art, music, dance, theater, poetry, and their unique “Kids Meet Art”™ program to the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

In addition to the art exhibit and the artist’s reception, there will be a poetry reading. Poets reading their work at the reception are:

Angela Narciso Torres Glenview
Kathleen Kirk Normal
Patricia McMillen Oak Park
Virginia Bell Evanston
Steven Schroeder Chicago
Maureen Flannery Evanston
Susanna Lang Chicago
Helen Degen Cohen Deerfield
Deborah Nodler Rosen Glencoe

So if you’re in the northwest suburbs and are looking for something to do, I suggest checking out the Northwest Cultural Council’s Artist’s Reception And Poetry Reading.

The Art – Photoshop Abstract Whirlpool

Titled Photoshop Abstract Whirlpool, I created this piece this morning to serve as the illustration for this post. Strange to believe that I used as a starting point a photograph I took of baggage transport carriages at O’Hare Airport. The final piece seen here was created by using a combination of Photoshop filters, layer blends, layer styles, and adjustment layers. Isn’t digital wonderful!

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Art Show and Showing Art

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Lift-Off digital painting
Lift-Off digital painting

Over the weekend I visited the Block Museum of Art to take in The Brilliant Line and Engraving the Ephemeral exhibitions of engravings. A great show and one I recommend folks visit before it closes on June 20. For my review of the exhibition and details, check out The Art of Engraving at the Block Art Museum.

On Monday I visited the Arlington Green Executive Center to install some of my art. As the bulk of my abstract art is currently on display at the Rolling Meadows Public Library (which I haven’t even listed yet on my web site) and since I previously displayed only abstract art at Arlington Green Executive Center, this time I decided to go with some of my space art. I was only provided with space to hang three pieces. The works I choose to exhibit are:

  • Astronaut Glory II created in 2009
  • Lift Off created in 2009 and shown above
  • Glacial Mars – a piece I created in 2008 but have not yet added to my web site

My art will remain on display there until August 2, 2010.

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