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Up To Date

The Art Fantastic

When you watch a film like Star Wars or Harry Potter, the fantastical worlds they present seem to come alive on the screen with colorful planets and moving portraits. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with artists Gregory Manchess, Donato Giancola and Michael Whelan, who make those fictional tales feel like real places you could actually visit and talk about how their work compares with the art you'd find in a traditional museum.

HEAR MORE: Gregory Manchess, Donato Giancola and Michael Whelan will exhibit their works at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, May 17, 18 and 19 at the Grand Ballroom in Bartle Hall. Click here for ticket information. 

Donato Giancola on his art:

Gregory Manchess has created many paintings for the National Geographic Society, including some for “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of The Whydah, from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship.” His art has also featured in children's books such as To Capture The Wind by Sheila MacGill-Callahan and Nanuk: Lord of the Ice, by Brian Heinz. Manchess exhibits frequently at the Society of Illustrators in New York, where he has won a gold and four silver medals. The Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles awarded him two silver medals and a Best in Show Award. His peers at the Society of Illustrators in New York honored him with the coveted Hamilton King Award in 1999, based on an artist’s career accomplishments. The following year they awarded him the Stephan Dohanos Award for the best illustration of the year by a member. Artist’s Magazine gave him First Prize in their 1990 Wildlife Art Competition. Spectrum awarded him a silver medal in 2001 and showcased a painting for their call-for-entries 2003 poster.    Donato Giancola's list of clients includes major book publishers and collectors in New York to concept design firms on the West Coast: notables include The United Nations, LucasFilm, National Geographic, CNN, DC Comics, Microsoft, The Village Voice, Playboy Magazine, US Postal Service, Wizards of the Coast, Scholastic, Simon&Schuster, Tor Books, Random House, Time/Warner, The Scifi Channel, Milton-Bradley, and Hasbro. Merits range from the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators to nineteen Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, three Artist Hugo Awards for outstanding professional work from the World Science Fiction Society, notable awards from the Art Renewal Center, and multiple silver and gold medals from the juried annual Spectrum: The Best of Contemporary Fantastic Art.   Michael Whelan has created book and album covers for authors and musicians like Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, the Jacksons and MeatLoaf. His clients have included every major U.S. book publisher, the National Geographic Society, CBS Records, and the Franklin Mint. Whelan has published four art books as well as numerous limited edition prints, posters, calendars, and licensed products such as greeting cards, t-shirts and sculptures.



When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.