The Chesley Awards were established in 1985 as ASFA’s peer awards to recognize individual works and achievements not otherwise recognized by the Hugo Awards, during a given year. Initially called the ASFA Awards, they were renamed to honor famed astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell after his death in 1986.
Science fiction and fantasy art is celebrated by every Worldcon. When Chicon 7 starts three weeks from today, the convention, with the support of ASFA, The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, will offer members the chance to view elaborate exhibits, acquire sf and fantasy works at a large Art Show, and enjoy a special commemorative art publication.
The Art Show in the Hyatt’s Regency Ballroom will feature over 100 artists. There, members also will be able to buy copies of The Artist Showcase, a limited edition, 56-page, full-color commemorative publication with biographies and selected works from the exhibiting artists. (Cost, $10.)
There will be a special exhibit from Guest of Honor Jane Frank – a re-creation of the Haggard Room from her home — and the presentation of the Chesley Awards. The Chesley Awards recognize individual artistic works and achievements in 11 categories, including cover illustration in hardcover, paperback, and magazine formats, interior illustration, unpublished color and monochrome work, three-dimensional art, product and gaming-related illustration, art direction, and overall artistic achievement.
Art @ Renovation is a series of thematic events and opportunities to interact with top sf artists at this year’s Worldcon in Reno. Among the highlights are:
Art Night, a visual arts festival throughout the evening of Thursday, August 18. Art Night will kick off with the Chesley Awards, given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA), recognizing individual artistic works and achievements in science fiction and fantasy, and continue with panels, games, workshops, and demonstrations, along with highlights of the Renovation Film Festival.
An Illustration Masterclass led by Chesley and Gaughan Award winner Richard Hescox.
Portfolio review opportunities with Guest of Honor Boris Vallejo and leading industry Art Directors including Jon Schindehette, Lou Anders and David Palumbo.
A substantial Art Show featuring original artwork and prints from over 80 artists. The Art Show is supported by an online Artist Showcase. There also will be a printed commemorative publication available for purchase at the con.
A special exhibit and programming featuring the work of Artist Guest of Honor Boris Vallejo, as well as his wife and partner, Julie Bell, and her sons, fellow artists David and Anthony Palumbo.
Science fiction’s most beloved pro artist, the versatile Kelly Freas, passed in his sleep before dawn on January 2, 2005. The cause of death was not announced, but his health had been failing for some time. He will be buried in Chatsworth, CA. There will be a public memorial service in a week or two. (It may be hosted at the LASFS and, if so, the place is already decorated with a complete collection of his pro-space-exploration posters that also hang in the Smithsonian.)
Frank Kelly Freas was born in Hornell, NY in 1922. His first professional publication was the cover for Weird Tales, November 1950. His varied career included painting WWII bomber nose art, doing MAD Magazine covers from 1955-1962, designing the Skylab 1 crew patch, being the cover artist for a Queen album, and doing infinite covers and illustrations for sf prozines. He was President of ASFA, 1982-1983.
He also did caricatures of everyone from Alfred E. Newman to John John W. Campbell, and countless convention fans. A very fannish pro, Freas was a longtime Dorsai Irregular and a member of First Fandom. Having been one of the GoH’s at the 1982 Worldcon (Chicon IV), the Chicago in 2000 bid made him the subject of one its collectible trading cards. He was also a Torcon 3 guest of honor (2003) but was unable to attend due to injuries sustained in a fall a few weeks before the con.
His 10 Best Professional Artist Hugos set a record for most Hugos won for professional work that stood til 1991, when Whelan won his 11th. Freas won his last 5 Hugos consecutively, 1972-1976. He was nominated a total of 24 times. Also, in 2001 he also won a Retro Hugo for his work in 1950.
Freas was one of the most gentlemanly individuals in the sf community. He will be profoundly missed.