Project Art Show

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Project Art Show was announced by Bjo Trimble in the February 24, 1960 issue (no. 53) of Fanac as follows: "A project is starting to form an art exhibit featuring the work of fan-artists from all over at the Pittcon; assistance from artists and interested parties is requested -- write to Bjo." This announcement marked the beginning of the modern convention art show, the first of which was at Pittcon, the 1960 Worldcon.

It was originally called "Project Art Show"; later in the decade, it became "The International Science-Fantasy Art Exhibition" (ISFAE).

Bjo took the show on the road to Worldcons and other conventions. Others working on it included John Trimble; Nancy Kemp, who ran the show at Chicon III in 1962, Juanita Coulson, who administered the show at Discon in 1963, when Bjo couldn't attend; and Bruce Pelz, who administered the show at the 1964 Pacificon II, when Bjo's pregnancy prevented her from attending.

By 1969, it had evolved into an organization that was involved with judging and awarding prizes, in addition to administration. Bjo and Pelz were Directors. Rules for entering, judging, etc. had been codified into a publication, The International Science-Fantasy Art Exhibition Handbook.

By 1968, Bjo's interests had shifted towards Star Trek and in 1969, she relinquished control of ISFAE to an umbrella organization, Con-Fusion, set up by Pelz, Chuck Crayne, and Ken Rudolph. Con-Fusion was also involved in running FUNcon II (the 1969 Westercon) and L.A.con (the 1972 Worldcon), and lasted through 1972 before passing from existence.

In later decades, art shows became a rule rather than an exception at science fiction conventions, a showplace for professional artists to display and sell their work and for fan artists to gain renown. All this can be traced back to a good idea Bjo came up with in 1960.

One criticism of Project Art Show was that -- towards the end, anyway -- the Trimbles were keeping whatever surplus funds there were to pay for their hotel rooms. Naturally, this was not very widely approved of, and their defense that they didn't make much after expenses wasn't particularly helpful. (See Granfalloon #18 p. 13, Granfalloon #18 p. 36, and The Little Fandom That Could.)

Bjo pubbed PAS-tell and Silmé for the project.

Year Worldcon Management
1960 Pittcon First Project Art Show event
1961 Seacon Project Art Show
1962 Chicon III Project Art Show
1963 Discon Project Art Show
1964 Pacificon II Project Art Show
1965 Loncon II Overseas
1966 Tricon Project Art Show
1967 NyCon3 ??
1968 Baycon ??
1969 St. Louiscon Project Art Show
1970 Heicon '70 Overseas
1971 Noreascon Project Art Show
1972 L.A.con I Project Art Show
1973 Torcon II Bjo is listed as a concom member
1974 Discon 2 Run by convention committee
1975 Aussiecon Overseas
1976 MidAmeriCon John and Bjo Trimble
1977 SunCon Run by convention committee
1978 Iguanacon ??, but probably not
1979 Seacon '79 Overseas
Henceforth run by convention committee

Conrunning 1960
This is a conrunning page.