Academy Alumnus Special Effects Superstar J Anthony Kosar Hosting Chicagolands Largest Halloween Themed Art Show



The fourth annual MALEFICIUM Dark Art Exhibition, featuring the works of more than 50 award-winning artists, runs November 15 through December 19 at Kosart Effects Studio & Gallery in Westmont. An artist reception will be held Nov. 15 from 3 to 10 p.m. and is open to the public. Curated by J. Anthony Kosar, the exhibition will be both Chicagoland's largest Halloween-themed art show and the largest exhibition Kosart Gallery has ever sponsored.

Kosar was the American Academy of Art 2008 valedictorian, earning a Fine Arts Degree in Illustration. He has won dozens of awards, has his own school and gallery, regularly completes commissioned work for major movies, and was Season 4 winner of the SyFy channel’s special effects show Face Off.


Opening Reception Highlights

When:             Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 from 3 to 10 p.m.

Where:            Kosart Effects Studios & Gallery, 760 Burr Oak Drive, Westmont, IL 60559

What:              Exhibition of more than 50 award-winning artists in nearly every medium.

·         Attendees are invited, but not required, to wear costumes & creative attire. 

·         Wine & cheese served. 

·         Special screenings of Joshua Hoffine's film Black Lullaby

·         First opportunity to purchase artwork. Most pieces for sale unless marked NFS. 

          All major credit cards accepted. 

Cost:                Admission is free and all ages are welcome. However, due to the show’s theme

           and content, attendee discretion is advised.


Maleficium is a Latin term meaning "mischief." It is often used to describe black magic and the dark arts. Kosar selected the name to have the exhibit serve as a metaphor for the Halloween- inspired artwork. Between 500 and 1,000 people are expected to attend throughout the opening.

A special closing reception will also be open to the public on December 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are by appointment only. Call Kosart Gallery to schedule: 630.310.8353.

“The exhibition includesdark artists but also fantasy illustrators, fine artists, comic book illustrators, sculptors, concept artists, make-up and effects artists, photographers, and now even a film director,” Kosar explained. “All of these folks are known and respected in their creative industries.We’ll even be showing work from Clive Barker, who created Hellraiser and Nightbreed.”


Artwork by Tim Shumate


Strong Academy Showing Among Artists

Among the more than 50 artists featured in the exhibition, nearly a third are Academy alumni and instructors:

Alumni:Kyle Bice, Brian Busch, Grigor Eftimov, Aron Gagliardo, Douglas Klauba, J. Anthony Kosar, Darick Maasen, Matthew McCarty, Aaron Miller, Bill Reinhold, Jason Seiler, Tim Shumate and Jill Thompson.

Instructors:Rich Kryczka, Tom Herzberg & Carol Luc

The complete list of award-winning artists is on the event website.


Artwork by Kason Seiler


Work for Sale, Prices

Approximately 80 percent of the exhibited art is for sale. Prices range from as low as $50 and as high as $10,000. A majority of pieces are priced between $200 and $1,000. Depending on the size of artists’ work and if they are presenting a series, some artists have more than one piece in the show.


Artwork by Grigor Eftimov


Q&A with J. Anthony Kosar

Q: What originally inspired you to putting together MALEFICIUM four years ago?

A: “I wanted to combine all the things I loved into one killer event. I am passionate about art and Halloween, and MALEFICIUM is the show that perfectly brings both of these together. Plus, I get to share some amazing artwork from some of my friends and favorite artists that I admire. Unlike other Halloween-themed dark art shows, MALEFICIUM brings together art forms and artists that Chicago has never seen before in one place.


Q: How did your life and career change after winning Season 4 of SyFy Network’s Face Off show?

A: “My life since Face Off has changed drastically and become even more fast paced. Though I began laying the groundwork for my business in high school, Face Off pushed my career years into the future. The exposure has allowed me to meet and approach, and be approached by, my heroes on their level.

“Some of the positive results of the show include having received much bigger projects, more student enrollments in my classes and I now have my own airbrush, Kosart PHANTOM Pro Airbrush(designed by me and custom manufactured). It’s competitive with other top models but much less expensive.

“I am very thankful for my time on the show, and look forward to returning on Season 8 beginning January 13, 2015.”


Q: What you doing in Season 8?

A: “I will be present throughout Season 8 as a mentor to the contestants. This is the first season Face Off is featuring mentors, and I am one of three past winners the show asked to coach the current contestants. We will share their insight and knowledge about what we think the judges want.”




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