Friday, May 5: Missoula-based artist and author Jayel Draco joins us for a multimedia reading, including music and visuals, of his new fantasy art novel, The Great Nations of Rendaraia. 5-8pm.
The Great Nations of Rendaraia have stood for centuries as strongholds of culture, magical arts, scientific knowledge, and military strength. When, one by one, the Nations fall—each destroyed in a day, with no time for word or warning—the intrepid scholar Jan’Ka’Zian sets out to find the reason and record a vanishing world.
Join Jan’Ka’Zian on his quest to document a network of intertwined cultures on the edge of destruction. From mighty airships powered by bioluminescent microorganisms to a city of gleaming towers built around colossal trees, the Great Nations of Rendaraia exist in a fully realized fantasy world as complex and inventive as those of Tolkien and Lewis.
Jayel Draco’s gorgeous illustrations present a vivid picture of elaborate cityscapes and mountain vistas, vast skyfaring fleets, and fantastic flora and fauna. While epic in its own right, Jan’Ka’Zian’s tragic story is one small thread in a larger tapestry: a tale of destruction, rebirth, magic and transformation told in the world of Children of Gaia.
Jayel Draco is a multimedia visual artist from New York City. The world of Children of Gaia is the result of his decades-long collaboration with fellow artist Chris Covelli, which began shortly after they first met in seventh-grade social studies class. Since then, the desire to bring Children of Gaia to life has guided his career as an artist, fueling his dedication to honing his creative skills. In 2003, he earned his BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, later branching out into animation, costume and prop design, photomanipulation, motion graphics, and VFX. During his time as a freelance artist, Jayel’s fashion designs have been featured at trade shows including Project and Pool, and his animation work has appeared in Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men at MarvelFest New York City and in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the New York Metropolitan Opera. For several years he worked under the close tutelage of renowned comic book artist Neal Adams. In 2014, Jayel teamed up with writer Lynsey G to found Oneshi, an independent publishing company dedicated to bringing immersive graphic storytelling projects to life. Today, Jayel lives and works in Missoula, Montana, where he can generally be found living in harmony with the wildlife, enjoying a beer from a local microbrew, and immersed in his artwork.