J. M. DeSantis

A Fan-Tastic Evening

As I wrote last week, it’s not often I have a show or public appearance between the months of December and March (though, perhaps November and March would be nearer the mark). There doesn’t seem to be much offered in the way of events during the cold months, and so I often work through the Winter in quiet hibernation. However, a few weeks ago I was contacted by artist Teresa DeFabrizio from the Art Garage in Montclair, New Jersey about exhibiting in their latest gallery show, Fan-Tastic. Having previously enjoyed the experience of participating in their Pet-icular Poses show in June of this year, I was quick to say yes, despite my very busy schedule of late. The show runs all month long, and this past Friday was the opening reception for the show.

The first thing I will say about this reception compared to the one held for the Pet-icular Poses show is that this one was much better attended. Despite the torrential rain (which, oddly enough, was the exact same weather conditions for the Pet-icular Poses reception almost six months ago to the day in June), more than three times the amount of people came out to enjoy the artwork of the ten or so artists (myself included) who are exhibiting in the show. From the artists themselves, to family and friends, to other guests and those merely interested in seeing some great art, the small gallery space was packed nearly wall-to-wall on Friday evening.

I myself was joined with my wonderfully supportive family and girlfriend, though I spent the better part of the night talking with some of the artists at the show, particularly Dave Felton, Ron Grillo and his daughter Gia, Jack Parra, and Anie Knipping. I also took the time to speak with the evening’s two special guests: writers C. J. Henderson and Michael H. Hanson. It was my first time meeting many of them, though I had met Mr. Henderson at the first comic convention at which I exhibited (Big Apple Con 2008) during which he gave me some advice, and I gave him some of my tape.

The evening was truly a fan-tastic one, and much credit must be given to the show’s coordinator: Teresa DeFabrizio. I don’t think there was anyone in attendance having a miserable time, and I myself was very much enjoying being around other creatives and hearing about their processes and their careers–not to mention learning about Mr. Hanson’s Sha’Daa series and his writers organisation, The Fictioneers (of which I am now a member). What’s more (and perhaps most importantly when writing about an art show), the artwork on display is as interesting and diverse as the company which filled the room that night. From lush paintings of starships, to a variety of Game of Thrones fan art (I included some of my own as well), to strange and haunting creatures, the show exhibits a wide range of styles and approaches to the art genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror and fan art (hence the name Fan-tastic).

If you have not made the trip to The Art Garage yet (211 Glenridge Ave, Montclair, NJ), I would highly recommend you do. It’s not only because I have ten original pieces of my own artwork in the show (including some original Chadhiyana art). It’s truly because I think this show emulates what The Art Garage seems to stand for to me in the short time I’ve known the people who run it: an acceptance and appreciation for art of all types and styles. This show exhibits that love for a wide variety precisely. It’s something I love about The Art Garage, and I only hope to continue to exhibit my work there for a long time to come.

For more information on Fan-Tastic and The Art Garage, visit artgaragenj.com.

J. M. DeSantis

J. M. DeSantis is a writer and artist (Write-ist), best known as the creator of the Indian dark fantasy heroine, Chadhiyana (chadhiyana.com) and the humorous web-comic, Gentleman Cthulhu: Emeritus Moribus Monstrum (gentlemancthulhu.com). DeSantis has also authored a number of short fiction and artworks. Support his work through J. M.’s Patreon at patreon.com/jmdesantis.

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