Those who have attended IX in the past, and especially this year, know just how special of an event Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire have created for all of us to enjoy and take part in. It is hard to put into words just how great IX is. I have been struggling with this since 2009 when I went to my first IX. There is a real sense of family and community at IX which I have not experienced at any other event. I see many of the same faces at Gen Con, but that is with a backdrop of the biggest gaming convention in the US. There are a lot of distractions and a lot of long days tied to your booth. IX is just the artists, students, and collectors, and while there is a certain need to be around your booth, it is a small enough event that you can wander away without much penalty. If you are in need of an art recharge, looking for inspiration, advice, help, amazing art, and a welcoming family like community, then you need to get to Illuxcon... and next will be the tenth one, which should lead to all kinds of fun times!
In years past I have broken down my coverage of IX by day, this will not be happening this year. I have around 50 images that I will share in two posts and share some thoughts with each image. Even though we arrived on a Monday and left on a Monday the time just flew by. It seemed like we had SO much time ahead of us on the first Monday and then suddenly it was Saturday night. People arrive and leave at different times, but this was one of the first years where we were some of the first to arrive and the last to leave. Both Mondays were our travel days and the meat of IX was Tuesday through Sunday. Here are the first 25 images of my experience of IX9...
A glimpse of Reading, PA from our hotel room.
The event hotel is super nice and the staff was amazing and helpful. REALLY enjoying this change.
Know for its railroad, Reading offered up many trains that went by the hotel (thankfully only during the day).
The GoggleWorks! The main entrance was on the far side of the building from where you walk up to it from the hotel. That said, there was a nice entrance to lead right into the first floor gallery. Taking up an entire city block, the GoggleWorks building is five stories and contains over 100,000 square feet of space. It is a labyrinth of offices, galleries, and work spaces. It has a ton of character and is a really amazing building.
First floor gallery on Tuesday. When we got there only one, maybe two artists had begun to set up on this floor.
There are these suspended wall panels on tracks that are super cool.
Sign in / main event desk and the hub of activity for the entire event.
IX covered galleries on the first floor, second floor, and fourth floor. I was on the fourth floor on the outer most wall so I have great natural light coming in and a view of the outdoors. I really liked the spot all things considered.
All of my art survived the journey from Florida to Pennsylvania. Which is ALWAYS a good thing. After a inspection and inventory it was time to start setting up.
Since I was one of the first people setting up on the fourth floor I had the option for an additional wall panel. In the end I did not need it and I think my space was better off for not having it.
Slowly but surely, the art is going up on the wall. Gotta make sure they are all in their right spots!
Me and this staircase became good friends. Open and down from the fourth floor many times a day.
We also threw Tom Babbey's art down these stairs.
That last part is a joke.
All set up and ready to go!
Tuesday was my set up day, but preview night of IX is Wednesday evening. We did arrive a little earlier than most, it gave us a chance to take our time, help out more, and made for a more relaxing experience.
Studio 420 was the place to be at IX!
Tom Kuebler's magnificent creations arrived right at the end of the allotted set up time on Tuesday. So wonderful to see these in person.
A nifty unique church along the way from the GoggleWorks to the hotel.
Another view of the backside of the GoggleWorks on Wednesday morning. People were beginning to show up and the fun times were gearing up.
I really like the GoggleWorks logo and it was everywhere.
The GoggleWorks main entrance. FINALLY got around to the front side of the building to see it.
Loading in all the arts. Those windows on the fourth floor are the Studio 420 windows. My spot faces out the end of the building.
Aaron Miller and I trapped on the freight elevator that only GoggleWorks employees could use. It was 100 plus years old and super cool.
Medusa and all her glory! RAWR!
Another piece by Tom Kuebler that had a ton of personality and humor. The Martian has a ray gun pointed at the back of the micronaut.
The Peanut Bar! We ate here many time over the week and I enjoyed it a lot... especially their nightmare fuel of a mascot.
I shared walls with Steve Prescott (on the left) and Chris Seaman (on the right). I could not have asked for better neighbors at IX and had so much fun with them all week long. This was right before preview night began on Wednesday evening after they were both set up. IX is finally about to start!
That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...
For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com