When our team of Gorilla Creatives began putting this idea together, Pop Art Con represented a gathering point around which we could build a day long celebration. This con is designed to honor the creative people who make art. It also represents a new venue where these artists can show off their work. We wanted to create a con where an artist could reach a wider audience through the exhibition and execution of the things they create. At the same time, we wanted it to be a celebration!

“We All Raise Or Fall Together” is a motto I’ve very personally carried with me for some time and I brought it to our creative team as a core concept for Pop Art Con. To me this phrase represents the idea that it’s important to find ways to shine a light on creative individuals who might not yet be far enough into their career to get the attention they deserve. The motto also  represented my desire to find ways to help people by building things (be it cons, websites or even podcasts) that raise awareness and grow with them as they realize their full creative potential.

You see, I have always loved discovering creative people’s stories and finding ways to help them take that next step and this is something that also drives many of the other Gorilla Creatives who are building this show with me. In the past, I showed my support through the comic book shops I owned when I was younger, a career covering the comic book industry with a news website I created and even by owning and growing Louisville’s own Derby City Comic Con for a time.

Over the three years I owned Derby City Comic Con (which I sold in late 2015), I grew it from a one day show to a three day event that presented a 65,000 square foot show floor, brought in talent from across the country, spawned a second convention and hosted some wonderful side parties that took place throughout the city. At every step, I built that event to be something that focused on the individual creators whenever possible and maintained the feel of a classic comic book convention, something we don’t see enough of today. Derby was a show that focused on those people who make sequential art and highlighted the amazing stories they would often tell. They didn’t have to be Marvel or DC mainstream creators to impress me. I was often even more impressed by the individual still stapling his or her story together as they sat at their table during the show.

Full credit for the show name Pop Art Con goes to Jacob Trevino, but the idea we here at Gorilla Cinema Presents had for this con was a simple one. We wanted to take one element that often surprised people from comic book conventions and run with it building a broader art show around it. That element is the fact that artists are often doing live art on the convention floor.

Very quickly, it hit us that a show centered around everyone doing live art in all its many forms could be a very interesting thing to see. Of course, the artists are invited to sell any of their creations while exhibiting but it’s also about them telling their stories and doing what the love, LIVE. If we start with that core, add music and make it a celebration in the style of everything Gorilla Cinema Presents does, it could be a really wonderful presentation for the public to enjoy. That is Pop Art Con!

This new tradition launches on April 8th at the Woodward Theater. From 10 AM to 5 PM, we’ll introduce you to artists and the creative work they build. From 3D printed art to finger splattered paint to traditional drawing to so much more, this is a “not to be missed” event.

That said, this first con is JUST THE BEGINNING. After the doors close on Pop Art Con Cincinnati year one, we’re going to be doing a lot more than just planning a bigger show here in Cincinnati for 2018. You see, we plan take this idea on the road to other cities celebrating other art communities we know and love. We’re launching the idea with this first gathering point, but there will be other shows in other cities and we promise you that Pop Art Con is a name you will soon know very well as we all rise and explore art together.