NSA Convention Report by Sheldon Aronowitz
The 2008 National Stereoscopic Association Convention was held in Grand Rapids Michigan from July 9th to July 14th. This was the 34th consecutive NSA convention and they just seem to get better every year! The convention hotel was the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, and it was indeed "grand", with beautiful large lobbies, great rooms, restaurants to suit every taste, and majestic ballrooms to rival those of famous New York City hotels. Room hopping started early - although not as many dealers participated as in past years. There were many great finds and bargains to be had for the "studious" room hopper.
A new event, started last year in Boise, continued in Grand Rapids - the NSA 3D Art Gallery. Featured artist was Abe Fagenson, a self taught painter who developed a method for creating stereo paintings designed to be viewed by the crosseyed method. It was just mind boggling to view these beautiful paintings and wonder at the almost impossible skill needed. Also on display was a Leep viewer with slides and Ron Labbe's preview of David Klutho's upcoming book. There were phantograms by Steve Hughes, Terry Wilson, Shab Levy, and Barry Rothstein. It was a real treat to see Simon Bell's very large color anaglyphs of Cuban cars. There was much more to see and be amazed by in this "museum like" atmosphere. On Friday there was a wine and cheese reception where convention attendees could meet with the artists.
There were many workshops where one could learn about creating phantograms, lenticulars, anaglyphs, 3D doodling, etc, as well as learn more about Stereo Photo Maker, Stereo Data Maker, 3D advantage, etc. None of the workshops conflicted with any other programs so there was great attendance. There were the special interest group meetings such as the View Master collectors meeting, the 3D Center meeting, Medium Format meeting, as well as others and of course the first timers orientation meeting.
The Stereo Theatre had almost 60 shows, all of superior quality and all running extremely smoothly according to schedule. This included about twenty 3D videos on varied subjects as skydiving, fireworks, eye surgery, documentary topics, architecture, etc. Most of the shows were digital - as has been the growing trend the past few years. There was even a special "adult" stereo presentation starting at 10PM on Thursday highlighting the art images of Larry Ferguson and Boris Starosta, pin up photography of the 40s and 50s, and of course Adult Video News editor Mark Kernes' show "XXX - Shooting on the set".
The trade show was somewhat smaller than past years - about 38 dealers - but a wide array of modern and vintage 3D products were for sale, including NYSS member Mark Goliebowski's new multi-format viewer. There were excursions which I did not go on - to my regret, as I heard that they were superb - a full day Lake Michigan tour, a half day Heritage Hill and Meijer Gardens tour, and a cruise on the Port City Princess.
There were approximately 350 - 400 people attending the convention. NYSS representatives included Mark Goliebowski, Carol and Ron Gold, Terry Wilson, and myself as well as many other NYSS members and supporters from around the USA.
This was a very well run convention and extremely enjoyable. Let's have more local NYSS members present at the 2009 Mesa Arizona NSA Convention next July!