Good morning folks, and welcome back to the Mirror Gallery here on Hipsters of the Coast. It absolutely warms my heart to say that in less than two weeks, IX 2021, the largest celebration of imaginative realism in the world, will return as an in-person convention to the Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA from October 20-24, 2021. I have attended this show since 2017, and you may remember past year’s articles including the show recap from 2018 and the Magic Art Show exhibition I co-developed and curated in 2019. It is my favorite thing of the entire year, and I can’t wait to be back amongst my people for a week of art-related goodness.

Today’s article will serve as an Magic-related preview, as more than 25 past and present Magic: the Gathering artists are slated to be in attendance at this year’s show. I’d like to lightning round through each one of them so you can get a glimpse of who all will be coming to this fantastic show, each entry with a piece of art and link to click to see each artist’s cards. There’s lots to see so let’s get started:

The Main Show

The Main Show requires juried selection and runs from Wednesday night through Sunday at the Googleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA. It the premier space for imaginative realism artists to show and sell their work, and includes more than twenty past and present MTG artists.

Rob Alexander

Karakas by Rob Alexander. Traditional.

Mark Poole

Exploration by Mark Poole. Traditional.

Drew Tucker

Brainstone by Drew Tucker. Traditional.

Sarah Finnigan

Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth by Sarah Finnigan. Traditional.

Tran Nguyen

Valkyrie Harbinger by Tran Nguyen. Traditional.

Alessandra Pisano

Elementalist’s Palette by Alessandra Pisano. Traditional.

Scott Fischer

Force of Will by Scott Fischer. Traditional

Donato Giancola

Mirari’s Wake by Donato Giancola. Traditional.

Dave Palumbo

Chaos Channeler by David Palumbo. Traditional.

Mark Zug

Black Dragon by Mark Zug. Traditional.

Aaron Miller

Shard Token by Aaron MIller. Traditional.

Winona Nelson

NIko Aris by Winona Nelson. Digital.

Matthew Stewart

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV by Matthew Stewart, Traditional.

MIchael C. Hayes

Sanctum Prelate by Michael C. Hayes. Traditional.

Anthony Palumbo

Tajic, Legion’s Edge by Anthony Palumbo. Digital.

Dave Seeley

Phyrexian Maruader by Dave Seeley.

Matt Stawicki

Wind Sail by Matt Stawicki

Bob Eggleton

Swamp by Bob Eggleton. Traditional

Larry Elmore

Forest by Larry Elmore, Traditional.

Jeff Laubenstein

Metrogrnome by Jeff Laubenstein. Traditional.

Margaret Organ-Kean

Autumn Willow by Maragaret Organ-Kean. Traditional.

Christopher Burdett

Egg Token by Chrustiopher Burdett. Digital.

Allen Douglas

Baleful Strix by Allen Douglas. Traditional.

The Showcase

The Showcase takes place on Friday and Saturday night at the event hotel ballroom, and includes the widest breadth of artists at the entire show. It’s free to the public and becomes a hub of games, chatter, fellowship, and everything in between. For Magic, it’s everyone from one of the original 25 artists to some of the newest work in the game today, as well as dozens of artists working their way towards their first commission for the game.

Jeff Menges

Moat by Jeff Menges. Traditional.

Jeremy Wilson

Revival Experiment by Jeremy Wilson. Traditional.

Ryan Yee

Counterspell by Ryan Yee. Digital.

Online Only

A handful of folks will be exhibiting in IX’s online-only platform, developed last year in order to facilitate a show in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll miss seeing these folks in person, but hopefully they’ll be able to come for IX 2022.

Greg Hildebrandt

Izzet Signet by Greg Hildebrandt. Traditional.

Val Mayerik

The Very Soil Shall Shake by Val Mayerik. Traditional.

Omar Rayyan

Snow-Covered Forest by Omar Rayyan. Traditional.

Eric Velhagen

Scorching Dragonfire by Eric Velhagen. Traditional.

AP Live Draw 2021

Before I finish up, I want to let folks know about a special programming series taking place at this year’s show: an AP Live Draw with a handful of MTG artists and hosted by yours truly! During IX Online last Fall, several AP Live Draw sessions took place and were moderated by Pat Wilshire: artists drew or painted on MTG artist proofs while answering questions from the audience and talking about their careers and experiences.

Matthew Stewart doing an AP Live Draw, IX Online, 2020

We’ll be replicating this experience, just in person, and it should be a whole lot of fun. The tentative schedule is below:

Thursday 3pm-5pm Donato Giancola
Friday 3pm-5pm Rob Alexander
Saturday 1pm-3pm Jeff Menges
Sunday 11am-1pm Aaron Miller

Wrapping Up

These 25+ artists are just a single cross section of the more than 150 folks, the best in the industry, that will head to Reading later this month. As you can see it’s an incredibly diverse body of work, and there are still more than 100 artists to add into the mix. It’s the best show for fantasy artwork, and it’s not close.

If you’re on the East Coast and within driving distance, I can’t recommend attending highly enough, you must come check out IX 2021. Five Day and Weekend passes are available for purchase online, and remember that proof of COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are required for this event. If you’d like more of a preview beyond this article, you can check out their promo on Facebook or visit the IX website for more information.

And if you come to the show, please do find me and say hello. I’d love to grab a coffee or drink and talk about art. I’m the guy with the beard in the Hipsters t-shirt with the sport coat. I hope to see you there.

Donny Caltrider has been playing Magic since 2002 and collecting original Magic art since 2017. He has an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and enjoys telling stories about art, objects, and the intersection of fantasy with real-life. You can find him on Twitter talking about #mtgart, museums, and other #vorthos related goodness. Follow along and continue the conversation!

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