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The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri will host an opening reception for Flights of Fantasy, a national juried exhibition presented by the Bank of Missouri in downtown Cape Girardeau. Flights of Fantasy encouraged artists to explore their own curiosities. Our natural sense of curiosity is drawn to the strange, unfamiliar and fantastic. The unexplainable and imagined has long been embraced in all art mediums through subtle or obvious deviations from reality in traditional and off-the-wall imagery. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is looking for artists who incorporate the themes of science fiction, fantasy, and the surreal in their works. This exhibition welcomes original artwork of all media from artists across the United States.

Exhibition Dates: June 2- July 29
Exhibition Location:
Arts Council of Southeast Missouri
16 N. Spanish Street
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Ariel Bowman
"The Explorer"
Ceramic, Mixed Media


Laura Schumpert
"Hide Me With Your Pretty Face"

Dave Carter
"Amberwing Dragonfly"
Oil on Canvas

I was delighted to be asked to juror “Flights of Fantasy” for the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. I have called Missouri my home for nearly 20 years, some of my most successful artistic endeavors happened here. Thank you to the Arts Council for this opportunity to give back to the local art community.

Fantastic art is the combining of the mundane and imaginative. The best fantasy artists create imagery that makes the viewer believe in the improbable and the bizarre. Fantastic art should make the viewer do a double take and think, “Hey, wait a minute — did I really just see that?”

Selecting a show as a juror is a difficult task. There are space limits based on the venue. A coherent show is also a consideration, as well as making sure all selected works fit the theme of the show. In this case, fantasy, science fiction and the surreal. Of the several hundred amazing images I saw, I had to narrow my choices to under 40. 

I began my culling process by eliminating those pieces that were not obviously science fiction, fantasy or surreal art, in keeping with the show prospectus’ description. While that did eliminate a few, I still had way too many to fit into the limited space of the gallery. I next looked at how skilled the execution of the theme each individual image was. A wonderful idea can fall short of an artist’s vision because it lacks a compelling focus. A juror’s personal tastes do come into play during the selection process. The weekend before viewing the entries I attended Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (SFAL) in Kansas City, an art show and conference featuring some of the preeminent fantasy artists in the world. In the back of my mind was the question of whether I would see art similar in nature to those I was jurying on display at SFAL. 

In the end, I had to reject a number of pieces because of space issues, while I accepted them initially; they just fell short of making the final cut. I wanted to select a variety of media and a variety of focuses. Some pieces had similar themes and I selected the ones I felt best fulfilled their intent.

To all the artists who entered, kudos for putting your vision out into the world; to all the exhibiting artists, congratulations on making it into the show. 

- Wendy Martin

Wendy Martin is an internationally known children’s book illustrator and fantasy artist. Her art has strong graphic leanings reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau works. The media she uses to complete her paintings are both traditional and digital: mainly watercolor, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. She has a love of patterns and textiles, which also show up in her illustrations. Wendy says if she had to use 3 words to describe her work, they would be, ‘myth, magic’ and ‘mystery.’She currently works from her design and art studio in St Louis, MO, where she creates book illustrations full time. 
As a graduate of the School of Visual Art in New York City (Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1988), she began her career as a commercial artist creating branding, illustrations and logos for corporate communications.

During her free time, she created fine art in watercolor and entered juried shows much like this one, going on to become a signature member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society. After the birth of her daughter in 1994, she left the corporate world and pursued her passion for children’s books. To date, she has six published children’s picture books (The Story Circle, Piñata Books, 2016), and three published coloring books for adults (Animal Totem Mandala, Magical Child, 2016), with a new coloring book due out in September 2017 (Color & Conjure, Llewellyn Worldwide). She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency.


Ariel Bowman  Susan Corvick  Marry Robbins  Matt Miller 
Joe Crump  Randy Simmons Ana Wahlers  Christie Snelson 
Terry Davis  Heather Meadows  Sigrid Lorfing  Melinda Hellman 
Paul Walker  Blake & Hannah Sanders  Hannah Sanders  Kyle DeWitt 
Lauren Mann  Laura Schrumpert  Peggy Forthman  LaKrisha Moore 
 Sue Hale
Dave Carter 
Todd Fiefe 
James Wooldridge 
Yevgeny Sokolov  Shirley Ann Ryan  Craig Thomas  Cristal& Anthony Baldwin 

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