February 16, 2010

Society of Illustrators 52nd Annual Book and Editorial Exhibit

My crew and I had the pleasure of attending this year’s annual opening. You’ve got to love these events. Where else would you run into artists and art directors of all ages and styles in one building? This show emphasized the conceptual over storytelling, and had a sprinkling of traditional themes. As usual, the star of the awards ceremony was John Cuneo, with his much anticipated and loved scatological monologue. I think John missed out on his true calling… stand-up.

It was great to hear that John Jude Palencar had won the Hamilton King Award for most outstanding painting of the year with Muse and Reverie. I have known and repped John Jude for several years as a member of AOGS, and feel he is a unique talent as a painter and concepualizer… well deserved.

Speaking of artists, Yuko Shimizu won another gold medal this year… can this artist tell stories in a unique style or what? I have seen her develop and flower over the years, and feel that she is now at the top of her game and she feels confident in allowing her work to evolve. I noticed that her work is becoming less representational, with a more vibrant color palette. I think it’s starting to look less like pen and ink and more like some form of printmaking. Kudos to her.

Bill Mayer has been around for "a few years," and he should also be acknowledged for his signature style that is always fresh – love his stuff. I think it’s interesting that the piece he won gold for this year was one of his sketches. Personally I’ve always admired his body of work, which is more finished and very colorful. But in any form, he does have a different take on problem-solving.

Congratulations also to the RSAR artists in this show: Gary Kelley, Douglas Smith, and new talent Dongyun Lee.

… by the way, the hors d'ouvres were great and the wine and beer were free!

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