BAY-CON is for lovers of anime, comics and movies
On Sunday, Oct. 20, fans of anime, comics, video games and movies are invited to BAYarts for the first annual BAY-CON. This family-friendly (free) comic and art convention will be packed with activities and vendors. Students of BAYarts will be featured in an art show of their work during the event.
Jeff Ritchie, a teacher at BAYarts, has been instrumental in the day and he talks about the event with great excitement. "Some of the students will do free sketches for visitors," Ritchie explained before elaborating on the activities. "There will be a trivia contest, pumpkin decorating, a chance to draw with one of the teachers of BAYarts, and panels with local artists and comic book creators!"
As a special treat, there will also be photo opportunities with some favorite fandom characters including Joker, Batgirl, Ghostbusters and Star Wars. Vendors at the event will involve artists and makers from all over Cleveland. As Ritchie puts it, "They will have sweet treats, geeky soaps, hand-knitted creatures, local comic books and more, available to purchase."
Something important to Ritchie is how involved the kids and teens get to be for BAY-CON. "This event is giving the students a chance to have a moment to shine but also to interact and learn from professional artists that have years of experience. It will also give people a chance to see what the school has to offer and meet some of the talented staff."
To that end, classes that will have their art on display include Ritchie's "Character Creator" class as well as Jim Giar's "Comic Book and Cartooning, Advanced Cartooning" classes, and Eric Dull's "Art Club – Painting" class.
Ritchie, Giar and Dull have all been popular in the comic/cartooning/art world of Cleveland and they are bringing that experience to the day. "I am excited to have a chance to use the knowledge I’ve gained from being a part of other events like BAY-CON," said Ritchie. "Whether it be Free Comic Book Day at Carol and John's Comic Shop or a large convention like Motor City Con in Detroit, I have seen the joy that these types of events can create for the art and fan communities. There is a need to be with people and friends that enjoy the same thing you do."
In fact, Ritchie sees these kinds of events as similar to other groups of similar-minded people. "Like going to a baseball or football game downtown, a con can bring together fandoms and let people bask in the things they love!"
BAY-CON is a free event and runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.
BAYarts is a cultural arts campus that features education, exhibition and events.