The Spectrum Awards were established in 1994 by Cathy Fenner[1] and Arnie Fenner[2] to recognize the best in fantasy, science fiction, and horror artwork created each year.

The Spectrum Award
Awarded forThe best in contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and horror artwork.
Presented bySpectrum Fantastic Art
First awarded1994

In 1993, they announced a call for entries to the arts community to submit work. Beginning in 1994, works selected by jury have been compiled in the anthology, Spectrum – The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, published annually by Underwood Books. The jury selects two award winners (Gold and Silver) in each category while the Spectrum Fantastic Art advisory board selects the recipient of the Grand Master award.

Spectrum Award winners receive an award statue and a full page showcasing their award winning artwork in the anthology. Starting with Spectrum 21, the artist also receives an additional full page dedicated to them. The second page includes a photograph of the artist, an excerpt from their award acceptance speech and a short biography.

Spectrum is open to every artist who wishes to participate and can adhere to the competition's rules: international entrants are welcome. Students, fine artists, and illustrators are all treated equally. There are no limits on the number of pieces an artist can submit and there is no pre-screening prior to judging.[3]

Arnie and Cathy Fenner, who for twenty years had spearheaded the ongoing Spectrum annual publications, announced at the second Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in May 2013 the transition of the book to a new director, editor and publisher. Beginning with Spectrum 21, John Fleskes of Flesk Publications will assume those responsibilities.

Spectrum Award categoriesEdit

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (SFAL)Edit

The Spectrum Awards are presented annually during an evening event held in conjunction with Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.[4] Top Industry Professionals ( such as Michael Whelan, Gregory Manchess, Gerald Brom, Iain McCaig, Lauren Panepinto, and Irene Gallo[5]) introduce the award nominees and their art work, the winners make acceptance speeches, and are photographed back stage with their statues. It is an Academy Awards inspired evening.

Recognition for Spectrum - The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art AnthologyEdit

The Spectrum anthology has won a Locus Award, presented by Locus Magazine, for Best Art Book a total of 11 times (Spectrum 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 20). Additionally, Spectrum has placed 2nd in the voting three times (Spectrum 4, 6, 16) and third place for Spectrum 10.[6][7][8][9]

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) gives out the Hugo Awards each year at Worldcon. They have nominated the Spectrum anthologies eight times (Spectrum 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 15) for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work.[10]

The World Fantasy Awards nominated Spectrum 7 in the Special Award:Professional category in 2001.[11]

Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner won Chesley Awards for Best Art Director[12] in 1995 & 1999. They also received Best Art Director nominations in 2000 and 2004.


  1. ^ "Cathy Fenner - Summary Bibliography".
  2. ^ "Arnie Fenner - Summary Bibliography".
  3. ^ "Spectrum, About Us".
  4. ^ "Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Website".
  5. ^ " Irene Gallo".
  6. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards 1971 to 2011". Archived from the original on 2005-11-20.
  7. ^ "2012 Locus Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2012-11-04.
  8. ^ "2013 Locus Award Winners".
  9. ^ "Locus Award Winners 2014".
  10. ^ "Hugo Awards Nominations & Winners Lists By Year".
  11. ^ "World Fantasy Awards List". Archived from the original on 2000-08-18.
  12. ^ "Locus list of Chesley Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-11-04.

External linksEdit