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Introducing a Key Member of LCCA's Convention Art and Product Design Team

We would like to introduce a key member of the LCCA’s convention art and product design team, Karen Bowen.  This article will highlight her work with various pieces of convention art, i.e. our annual convention logo and collectible pins as well as artwork and related details used on LCCA products.

When we speak of convention art, we are referring to the convention logo used in all printed and web publications.  It serves as the background for our member badges and convention related literature.  A quick review of LCCA convention history indicates that prior to 1982 there was no convention logo and badges listed only a member’s name and city of residence.  Beginning in 1982 with our 22nd convention in Orlando, Florida, the first convention artwork appears.  If you would like to see a complete listing of the LCCA’s convention art you will find it on our website (Click Here).

As time passed, convention pins were added to the mix.  Over the years, the club has produced a number of pins for general purposes.  However, in 2009 we created our first convention specific pin for the Sacramento gathering.  Here’s an interesting fact about the 2009 pin.  In the Sacramento area, a miner holding up a gold nugget is a common piece of artwork.  The LCCA pin was designed along these lines. However, if you look closely, you’ll note the gold nugget has been replaced with a classic locomotive.  Dick Johnson, LCCA president in 2009, was a key figure in this pin design.

Other stories come to mind; like the 2012 Norfolk convention logo.  This was the year the club produced the lighted boxcar with a military theme.  The club wanted to be sure all our nation’s military was represented and the design was reworked numerous times.  At one point we had six different figures on it making it far to complex to use in publications or on a convention pin.  An enormous amount of effort went into creating the final product which is a handsome piece of art.  Karen was there for the club handling our many requests to redesign the logo.

We first began working with Karen when she was one of the graphic artists working at Lionel.  As the club was a Lionel customer, she often assisted us in getting our designs “right” for our products.  This involved making the flat images look appropriate on a three-dimensional rail car.  Lou Caponi, a former LCCA president, was our Lionel contact at the time.  He would sit with Karen in LCCA/Lionel design meetings and she would quickly draw the concepts under discussion.  You can see much of Karen’s work in our product offerings.
More recently, Karen has taken the convention art designed elsewhere and prepared the design for the manufacturer of our pins.   In 2019, Karen did both the convention art for the logo and prepared the pin design as well.  For our Omaha convention (#LCCA2020), Karen is doing both the logo and the pin design.  These items promise to be yet another visually pleasing and highly prized LCCA convention collectible.  More information on the Omaha pin design and on the use of Hash Tag #LCCA2020) is available on the Omaha Convention Blog web page (Click Here).