What a treat! This article is way overdue, but the feelings are still there. On Friday, November 13th from 7PM-9PM at the Atelier Gallery in downtown San Francisco was the first Spectrum book signing to be co-hosted by the Academy of Art University and Flesk Publications. With 21 Spectrum published artists all in one room, the gallery caught immediate attention especially among art students. These artist included Grand Master Iain McCaig, Colin and Kristine Poole, Steven Russell Black, Alina Chau, Craig Elliott, Te Hu, Kellan Jett, Randy Gallegos, Chamisa Kellogg, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Michael Manomivibul, Brynn Metheney, Sho Murase, Mark Newman, Karla Ortiz, Paolo Rivera, Dug Stanat, Josh Viers, Allen Williams, and Alyssa Winans.
People were allowed to walk into the gallery to wait for the event to officially begin, as well as purchase their books. Everything ran in a very well organized schedule, and everything that could be controlled with a system did. The book sale management was handled especially well. The line never exceeded 12 people in capacity, which meant it never traveled outside on the cold streets, and it kept fairly busy all throughout the event. There were three books available for purchase: Spectrum 21, Spectrum 22 (hardcover and paperback), and Women of Wonder. One person was in charge of customer service and inventory, while another was in charge of the sales transactions. They worked very efficiently together, and each customer left happily without disrupting the flow of the book sales' system.
The newly purchased books also acted as a conversation starter for young artists to interact with legendary artists. The actual book signing operation did not have a system, but it honestly worked very well if not better than if it were to have one. Both Spectrum and aspiring artists were able to hold conversations and spend their time naturally with each artist as the Spectrum artist signed books with either black or silver Sharpies.
It felt like a family gathering or even a community party.
I was happily surprised to see none of the student artists were trying to shove their portfolios for a quick review. Instead, they were taking the time to interact and build relationships with each Spectrum artist as well as other aspiring artists. Those who did get portfolio reviews waited until a Spectrum artist was available.
I spoke with several aspiring artists and Spectrum artists on their thoughts of the event. From aspiring artists, the most common answer I heard were "I hope we can do this again" and "I can't believe how many Spectrum artists there are all in one room." The numbers was a pleasant surprise as many aspiring artists had expected four Spectrum artists at most; certainly not 21 artists. After that, it was entirely focused on how inspirational, motivational, and human the Spectrum artists were. For the guests of honor, their comments often fell under disbelief of being surrounded by such talented artists. Some were trying to figure how they gotten "lucky" to be a part of Spectrum 22. Overall, everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoy the company (and free drinks).
On October 28-30, 2016, Spectrum will be hosting their Spectrum Fantastic Art Live for the first time in San Francisco. If it's anything like the book signing, then no one will want to miss out on this. I'll see you there.
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