A Holiday Message from John Fleskes, Cathy & Arnie Fenner. The picture is of Greg Preston taking our group picture at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.
We wanted to take the briefest of moments today to express our sincere appreciation to all that have supported Spectrum, Flesk Publications, and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live over the past twelve months. Even as there were great things—highlights—in 2016, there were just as certainly heartbreaks as well; we know it was a challenging year for everyone for any number of reasons. The prolonged and negative election season—and the results—caused anger and division, creating a toxic atmosphere that has affected everything: the arts and artists weren’t immune. In talking with creators since the last SFAL we know that the pessimism and uncertainty translated into sporadic work for some and softer sales for many, whether via the internet, through gallery shows, or at conventions.
In the search for understanding it can be painfully easy to point fingers and blame others who don’t share the same opinions or beliefs, easy to splinter off into like-minded groups to jeer or despair, easy to get locked into a cycle of acrimony, resentment, or prejudice.
The only sure way to break that cycle is to push forward. To channel our feelings into who and what we are: artists. We have the ability to express ourselves through our creativity when others around us feel frustrated and mute—and our positive progress forward can inspire others. The arts and artists help to give a voice to the voiceless. As Alex Gray once said, “When artists give form to revelation, their art can advance, deepen and potentially transform the consciousness of their community.”
With Spectrum we’ve always believed that there is strength in our unity, strength in our diversity, strength in our inclusiveness, strength in our community: our respect for each other and willingness to work for a common good allows us to stand when sometimes standing is hardest. Our strength as a community, as a family, is tempered by our compassion, not just for those with whom we share tastes, outlooks, and opinions, but for all. Together we can make things better for ourselves and for those around us in 2017 and beyond.
After the holidays we’ll start to push SFAL and the Spectrum 24 competition and the various titles forthcoming from Flesk; we have some exciting projects in the works that we’ll be announcing soon (and a number of you will be involved, whether you know it yet or not). But until then we simply wanted to say thanks to everyone for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful and vibrant community. Together, the best is yet to come.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays, everyone!
Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.