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Conifur Artshow Director Steps Down

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On, Dan Caanan writes: "Effective February 13th, 2001, Rich Chandler has chosen to resign his
position as Art Show Director of Conifur and we are sad to see him go.
Rich posted quite a rant on aff about his reasons for leaving, as well. More fallout from Vanity Fair. Click below to read the rest of Conifur's press release.

ConiFur NorthWest, started in 1998, has had a very good reputation for
running an outstanding art show in a very professional manner. For
the last three years, we have benefited from the experience and wisdom
of Rich Chandler. He has made this fledgling convention a very strong
presence in the artistic community, with reliability and efficiency
second to none. With his guidance, ConiFur was the first con to offer
payments within a week after the convention ended. He's made public
all figures for art sold and been instrumental in making our art show
the success that it has become. We would like to publicly thank Rich
for all his years of tireless work on the art show.

We will definately miss his guidance and experience. We wish him luck
in his future endeavors and the continuing excellence that he has put
into his own GALLERY fanzine title.

In the interim until we have selected a replacement Art Show Director,
we ask that all inquiries be sent to:

ConiFur NorthWest

Attn: Art Show

2406 SW 308TH PL

Federal Way, WA 98023

Or via email at:

As always, full information can be found at our web site:

Once again, we would like to thank Rich for his efforts in making the
last three years such a success and we wish him well in his future


Dan Canaan, aka Flinthoof


ConiFur NorthWest


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Oh no! Conifur had the best-run show for mail-in artists in the fandom! The check turn-around in a week was no joke... what a bummer.

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Richard Chandler has done some good works in the past, and I applaud his past efforts to improve the fandom and Conifur's art show. I've wanted to go to Conifur but haven't been able to make it yet - his art show was a major draw to me, as I wanted to see how it was done.


If, in fact, Richard is cutting and running in the face of poor press rather than standing his ground and trying to continue to improve things, then such leadership we can do without. Anyone can be in charge when there is no strife, but real officers and leaders -do not- abandon their posts once things get difficult!

I'm sorry to see Rich over-react as he seems to be doing, but by vacating the post we now can find someone who has the fandom's wellbeing in mind, regardless of what real or imaginary firestorm surrounds him.

Reality is not only stranger than we think, it's stranger than we CAN think!

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So you're saying if a group of people beats and abuses someone constantly while using them to do their gruntwork and enjoying the products of their talents and efforts without thanking them, and that someone finally decides that they are no longer going to take abuse and be taken for granted, that they're somehow abandoning people? That out of duty to people who excoriate you, you should continue doing something that drains your energy and destroys your soul?

It's not a lack of leadership to defect when the army is trying to destroy you. You don't work for your enemies, fighting battles you don't care about... not unless you're a mercenary, or something worse. If the fandom holds nothing for you, then go!

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It's 11-25-2001...this is probably the newest post in this thread..and my comments may be very late. If anything unbeknownst to me has happened between then and now without my knowledge, I apologize...I haven't been in the loop. I've personally known Rich since around CF4&5.

Rich's reasons for stepping down have been a long time coming even before last February. ConiFur was never the reason. It's probably something Rich saw and was targeted on so many times, so in essance, that was the last


I don't see this as an afront to "furrydom". Rich's "stepdown" was never there to kick the fandom in the stomach. It's his personal choice. Yes his handling of the ConiFur artshow surpassed any other con's artshow, he was good...damn good. But sometimes you have to get out..whether your a leader or not, everybody's human, and putting someone up on a pedestal and expecting then them to lead you and do great things day in and day out is unrealistic. Rich had his reasons and I'd say by sticking to them shows a lot of my opinion.

I myself am taking a less active role in the fandom, I'm not totally cutting it off, it's just that my time, life, business and family mean a lot to me right now. I have a lot of friends in the fandom and I hope to keep them.

-Dean L. Norton

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It -is- a lack of leadership to turn tail when things get tough, yes.

If the fandom was so unpleasant to him, then it would have been so a week ago prior to the Vanity Unfair article. Those he points to as being "holes in the fandom" did not simply vanish overnight - they've been coming and going for some time, as is normal in any fandom. His timing tells volumes about the real reason for his departure. Isn't it odd that he didn't quit until two loudmouths gave us, collectively, some bad press? I'd have far more respect for him had he resigned and left a month ago rather than now. We need people we can count on in leadership roles like con-staff.

But I agree that if someone feels "used" and doesn't enjoy things anymore, then it -is- time to move on. Me, I'd much rather stay around and continue to be a part of the genre, good and bad (as I cannot think of any hobby that lacks a dark corner.) At least I can claim that I tried when trying took some intestinal fortitude. There is many times more fun than unfun in furry. Besides, I left SF ages ago in the face of hostile action, and I missed out on 17 years of fun as a result. I will not make the same error again.

And I -still- say that people are making way too much of the article. My wife, who is the antithesis of all things furry or SF, blew the article off with a shrug. "So what?" was her main comment. "They'll print whatever it takes to sell magazines. Nobody pays any attention to it (the press) anymore."

Reality is not only stranger than we think, it's stranger than we CAN think!

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This is Rich, and I thought I should step in and say that it was NOT Vanity Fair that was the final straw. I've been in the fandom for 15 years, and I've put up with the freaks and wierdos and worse in the fandom all that time. Vanity Fair was just another in what WILL be a long string of articles portraying the Fandom as a freak show. I'm kind of used to that. I'm even used to vocal members of the fandom refusing to learn their lessons each time we get burned.

What it was with me was a growing dissatisfaction with my own experience in the fandom, and a feeling that I was being taken for granted. There were also personal aspects of my life that I began to realize were being neglected with all the time and energy and money I was directing into the fandom.

And with regard to the timing. One thing that I considered when I made my decision was that there should be enough time for ConiFur to find a replacement for me with adequate time for him to get ready to do a good job running the show. If I had come to this point say, three months before the Con, I would have stuck it out until the Con was over. I still plan to assist whoever it is in making the transition.

There WAS, in fact, a triggering event, it wasn't Vanity Fair, and it wasn't the threatening e-mails I was getting from Hannah Kincaid either. But what it actually was is something I prefer to keep to myself and a few trusted friends.

I'm an old soldier at this. I've been fighting a long time and the front hasn't moved more than a few feet in a decade. I'm tired. It's time for someone else to take up the banner. I'm retired.

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Rich Chandler has been very helpful and forthcoming during this transition to another director for the ConiFur NorthWest Art Show. There are no secrets, no hidden stories. Rich has made everything public that is available and that's all there is to it. He has chosen to step down due to reasons unrelated to that entire Vanity Fair mess.

This is an amicable parting of the ways, folks. Don't read anything into it that isn't there. Ever quit a job because you wanted to do something else? It's the same situation.

And by far, if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask us! ConiFur has a very open door policy so email us anytime for information. We already have a couple of candidates in mind to train for this position, but as Rich stated, we have plenty of time to make this transition a smooth one.

I also hope to check with Rich in person regarding fuel delivery issues with early 70's CB series Honda motorcycles. :)

-Dan Canaan / Flinthoof

-ConiFur NorthWest

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I've been fighting a long time and the front hasn't moved more than a few feet in a decade.
Probably because fighting isn't the answer.

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Probably because fighting isn't the answer.

Correct. Leaving is.

All my problems with the fandom have suddenly disappeared. No more people stalking me trying to pick fights with me while pretending they aren't. No more worries about the public image applying to me. No more angst about any fandom issues at all. And the bonus is, I can have all that without having to give up my standards and ideals.

It's very liberating.

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Friendly reminder to people...this isn't :)

In any case, I'm sorry to see you go, Rich. The Conifur art show reputation is one I would love to match, but probably never will. While I've often disagreed with you over the past few years, I've always respected you and your comments. Good luck for the future.

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>>Probably because fighting isn't the answer.

>Correct. Leaving is.

Well, if you aren't having fun anymore, then you may be right. After all, -furry fandom- is a hobby, and hobbies should be enjoyable. If it isn't, then there are many other activities in the world.

I don't know who this Kincaid person is who keeps hassling you or what the "trigger" you speak of actually is, but I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. You and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but I don't wish any ill to you. You've done quite a bit over the years and that deserves a certain amount of respect and applause. Good luck in whatever you end up doing.

Cool shade and soft trails to you, Rich.

Allen Kitchen

Reality is not only stranger than we think, it's stranger than we CAN think!

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It's unfortunate you think it isn't worthwhile to participate in furry fandom anymore. It's your decision, though. Considering our querulous past, I'm not particularly sorry to see you go, and that's the honest truth.
I do know that I never really enjoyed our fighting on AFF, though. And perhaps, deep down inside, you didn't like it either. In any event, I wish you good luck in whatever your future plans bring you, and hope you'll end up doing something that you enjoy.
And that's the honest truth too.

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an agronomist and Cornwuff from Northern Illinois, interested in sf, homebrewing, photography and running