Art Show

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Synonyms: art auction
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Lorraine Brevig's art being prepared for display, Escapade 2011 Art show, photo courtesy nakedbee
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An art show is a collection of various pieces of art, often in different mediums, on display at a convention. Artwork may include paintings, drawings, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and so forth.

Media fandom picked up its tradition of art shows from science fiction fandom, including the tradition that art may be available for sale if the artist wishes.

Art for sale

When art is offered for sale at an art show, it's sometimes a precursor to an art auction. Pieces available for sale have a bid sheet attached to them, on which people can write in their bids. There's a cutoff number of bids; below that number, the high bidder wins the piece and purchases it directly for their bid price after the art show closes. Above that number, the piece is sent to auction, where any registered bidder can bid on it. Auctions generally take place on the final day of the con.

Large conventions with large art shows may also offer a "print shop", with specific paintings or drawings available for sale as lower-quality prints throughout the weekend at a set cost.


The tradition of auctioning off art for as much as people are willing to pay has caused some friction within media fandom, since the practice is contrary to the more generally accepted standard of "don't profit off your fanwork". The largest sum paid for fan created media art may have been Suzan Lovett's original artwork from the Starsky & Hutch zine Timeless which she sold for $3,000 at Zebracon in 2003. For more about fan art for sale and fandom's reactions to fan artist's making profit on their fan art see Selling Fan Art and Fandom and Profit.

Art Show Gallery