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The Art of Blizzard Entertainment launch event summons fans to gallery opening

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

This month, Blizzard Entertainment and publisher Insight Editions will release The Art of Blizzard Entertainment, a 376-page art book that includes more than 700 illustrations curated from Blizzard's nearly 20-year history.

To commemorate the launch of the art book, Blizzard held an opening reception at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, Calif., drawing hundreds of fans of StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft.

Dozens of illustrations, paintings and sculpture pieces from Blizzard's universes are currently on display at Gallery Nucleus, showing the developer's visual evolution. Blizzard artists, including longtime illustrator, concept artist and now senior vice president of story and franchise development Chris Metzen, were in attendance to sign the new book and take part in painting demos.

Speaking with Metzen, an artist who helped shape the worlds of Warcraft and StarCraft, said The Art of Blizzard Entertainment "encapsulates the vibe and history" of the developer, showcasing the "common language" of fantasy art formative of Blizzard's earliest days.

"We've been wanting to do a book like this for years," Metzen told Polygon. "Our art is so important to us; illustration is such a core building block to how the games come about and how we conceptualize the game worlds, but also how we express ourselves to each other.

"When we look through it, it says so much more than what these ideas express, it's us expressing ourselves over time."

Metzen says the book was not a commercial undertaking, but designed "for us to have that perspective and appreciation for that art and where we've come from."

"For us it's kind of like a time capsule and the emotionality embedded in that time capsule is very distinct," he told Polygon.

For a look at the opening reception and the installation at Gallery Nucleus, take a peek at the gallery above. The Art of Blizzard Entertainment exhibition will run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 3 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, Calif. The $74.95 art book will be released widely later this month.

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