The triennial World Model Expo 2017 wrapped up on Sunday July 9, 2017 after a busy week of events as the over 2000 exhibitors, vendors and attendees who gathered from all over the globe came together for a few days to experience the world in miniature.
This was the 10th World Expo held since co-founder and renowned artist, the late Shep Paine of Chicago, launched this event in 1993. This year’s expo was also the first one held in the United States since 2005. Hosted by the Military Miniature Society of Illinois, it was truly an international gathering of the world’s finest miniature sculpture artists. Categories included painted and sculpted figures, often in groups and in open and boxed dioramas. Ordnance which includes models of ships, vehicles and tanks, airplanes and trains were also joined with fantasy figures and subjects from all periods of military and general history including movies, sports, science fiction and fantasy subjects which rounded out the extensive selection of miniature artwork submitted by artists.
Beginning with an opening night tour of the European Art and Arms & Armor Galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago by curators Gloria Groom and Jonathan Tavares on Thursday, July 6; over 300 attendees got together for a reception at The Exchequer Pub on Wabash afterwards. The show began in earnest on Friday morning July 7 when the doors opened to the public who were able to view the over 1000 pieces of miniature sculpture and artwork that was on display submitted by 400 exhibitors. Seminars and a vendor area added to the expo that was also open on Saturday. Over 2000 visitors enjoyed the show which was closed to the public on Sunday as judges prepared to select all those who would receive awards for their work.
The “Best of Show” award went to a piece titled “El Ultimo Tercio en Rocroi 1643” by the painting team of Juan Avilla, I.Esteban and Albert Gros Mascarilla. World Master designations were awarded to Michael Kontraros, Julio Cabos, Rick Taylor, Fletcher Clement. The Bob Zwald Memorial Award was given to Fabio Nunnari. President’s Awards were given to Richard Poisson, Francois Verlinden and Michel Zeller.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals along with Certificates of Merit were awarded to a number of artists from “Open” categories (where the artists sculpt and paint their work) and “Painter” categories where artists paint others’ model figures. Awards at the expo are based on a level of skill where multiple medals and certificates of each category are awarded to the artists.
The next World Expo will be in 2020, possibly in Eindhoven, Netherlands pending the final selection of locale. Many organizations helped to produce this event and which regularly hold their own shows included the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society, International Plastic Modelers’ Society, Artists Preservation Group, Long Island Historical Miniature Collectors Society, Atlanta Military Figure Society, Lakes Region Scale Modelers, Butch O’Hare IMPS, AMPS Chicagoland and the MMSI – the Military Miniature Society of Illinois, which provided the steering committee for the World Expo and will hold its own annual show on October 13-15, 2017 at the Schaumburg Marriott Hotel (for more about this event, visit: www.military-miniature-society-of-illinois.com). Visit www.we2017chicago.com