Spectrum 23 Awards Ceremony Pictures and Story

Hello, everyone,

The Spectrum 23 Awards Ceremony was held on May 7, 2016 at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. The following thirty pictures with captions represent a visual journal of the evening.

A special thank you to the presenters, everyone at the Society of illustrators who assisted with the event and to everyone who joined us during the evening.

Also, our utmost gratitude goes to Colin and Kristine Poole for once again making the original bronze Spectrum Muse awards. They are stunning to see in person!

Unless otherwise noted, most of these photographs were taken by our volunteer for the evening, Brian Britigan, who was recommended by Dan dos Santos and Sam Weber. Thank you so much gentlemen!


The legendary artists Vincent di Fate (at left) and Michael Whelan talk prior to the event starting.


Cathy Fenner with Arnie Fenner (center) and Dave Palumbo (right). Dave was the single representative from the Spectrum 23 jury present that evening.


One of my favorite illustrators and Spectrum 21 Call for Entries poster artist, Victo Ngai talks with Donato Giancola.


Arnie Fenner (left) and Cathy Fenner with me, John Fleskes, prior to the event starting.


Marc Scheff entertains as the awards ceremony is about to begin.


Here, I open the Spectrum Awards ceremony by talking about the importance of the Spectrum community and its open door policy, why artists are my heroes, paying compliments to the Spectrum 23 jury and introduce Colin and Kristine Poole to present the Rising Star Award.


Kristine and Colin Poole present the Spectrum Rising Star Award to new emerging artist who has shown an exceptional ability. Colin and Kristine conceived this award and I gave them my blessing to incorporate it into the Spectrum awards. This year the recognition went to Victor Maury.


Victo Ngai presenting the Advertising category and revealing the silver and gold recipients.


Nico Delort at the podium giving his acceptance speech for receiving the Spectrum Gold Award in the Advertising category.


Art director for Orbit Books, Lauren Panepinto presenting the Book Awards category.


Senior editor at Abrams ComicArts and Spectrum Advisory Board member, Charles Kochman presents the Comic category awards.


Dan dos Santos accepting on behalf of Nic Klein for his Silver Award in the Comics category for “Drifter.”


The science fiction illustrator, Vincent di Fate presents the awards for the Concept Art category.

Spectrum23-awards-pic-14Cathy and Arnie Fenner pause to reflect on those we lost in 2015 as well as to pay tribute to Kim Kincaid who passed away recently. This was a very touching part of the ceremony which included a short video.

In the lower middle is the technician Steve Compton who helped immensely by running the videos throughout the evening. Thanks Steve!


Nine time Spectrum award winner, Donato Giancola continued the ceremony by presenting the Dimensional category awards.


The art director for Asset International, SooJin Buzelli was our presenter for the Editorial category awards.


Artist and entrepreneur, Marc Scheff lent his excellent speaking skills to presenting the Institutional category awards.


Dave Palumbo was in attendance to present the Institutional Silver Award to his mother, Julie Bell. A highlight of the evening, especially with mother’s day being the next day.


The amazing Julie Bell during her acceptance speech.


The publisher of Baby Tattoo Books and long time friend of Spectrum, Bob Self offered his exceptional stage presence while presenting the Unpublished category awards.


Artist Rob Rey during his acceptance speech for receiving the Gold award in the Unpublished category.


Rebecca Guay, who is one of the most respected artists in the industry, honored us by presenting the Spectrum Grand Master Award to Mike Mignola.


Rebecca Guay as she invited Mike Mignola up on the stage.


Mike Mignola giving his acceptance speech for joining the ranks of a Spectrum Grand Master.


As the awards ceremony came to a close, a group of us gathered for a picture on stage. From left to right: Bob Self, Julie Bell, Donato Giancola, Arnie Fenner, Cathy Fenner, Nico Delort, Mike Mignola, Charles Kochman, Richard Pini and John Fleskes.


Mike Mignola during the after party showing off his custom made one of a kind bronze Grand Master Award made by Colin and Kristine Poole. Everyone wanted to talk with Mike and get a picture with him. Mike hasn’t quite figured out what an inspiration he is to the community at large. He’s humble that way.


Overview shot of the after party on the third floor of the Society of Illustrators. In the far back you can see the original Normal Rockwell painting hanging above the bar.


My dear friend and mentor (along with Cathy) and Spectrum co-founder, Arnie Fenner during the after party. Picture by John Fleskes.

Spectrum23-awards-pic-29Micheal Whelan, Donato Giancola and Arnie Fenner enjoying the after party. Picture by John Fleskes.


Colin Poole with Dimensional category nominee Patrick Masson. Patrick flew in from France and brought his original work “The Blind Death” that was nominated for everyone to view. Amazing! Picture by John Fleskes.

Thanks again to everyone who came. This event takes weeks to prepare, but it is one of the best moments of the year. I’ll see you at the awards ceremony in Kansas City next year!



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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos by Brian Britigan and John Fleskes © 2016 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.