Project Art Show

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 Worldcon art show, the first of which was at the Pittcon in 1960.

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

Bjo took show on the road to Worldcons and other conventions. Others working on it included John Trimble, Juanita Coulson, who administered the show at Discon when Bjo couldn't attend, and Bruce Pelz, who administered the show at the 1964 Baycon, when Bjo's pregnancy prevented her from attending. By 1969, it had evolved into organization that was involved with judging and awarding prizes, in addition to administration. By this time, Bjo and Bruce 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 Bruce Pelz, Chuck Crayne, and Ken Rudolph. Con-Fusion was also involved in running the 1969 Westercon and 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 there was 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 p13, Granfalloon #18 p36, and also The Little Fandom That Could.)

Year Worldcon Art Show
1972 L.A.con I Project Art Show
1973 Torcon II ?
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
1980 Noreascon Two Run by convention committee
1981 Denvention II Run by convention committee
1982 Chicon IV Run by convention committee