Rock n’ roll cover artist Hugh Syme thrills fans with ‘Art of Rush’ book signing

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Hugh Syme’s work on display at Renditions Fine Art in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Art lovers and fans of classic rock band Rush formed a line that nearly stretched out the door to meet visual artist Hugh Syme on Saturday night.

Ron Wise, owner of Renditions Fine Art Gallery was thrilled with the turnout as fans from as far away as Colorado came to view Syme’s artwork and have their Art of Rush book signed.

“It’s so cool to see Rush and Hugh Syme fans turn out to admire his work and to meet the artist himself. One guy flew in from Denver just for the event!” said Wise.

Syme is known around the globe as the resident album cover artist for Rush and a host of other rock legends like Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake and Megadeth.

Scott Patterson (left) and Brad Melchi (right) have their “Art of Rush” books and albums signed by Hugh Syme

Die-hard fans were thrilled as Syme was more than happy to talk at length and sign pretty much anything that was asked of him, including albums and posters.

Carmel resident Scott Patterson has been a Rush fan since 1985, and showed up to get his cherished Rush vinyl album jackets autographed by the artist in-person.

“Hugh graciously signed my Moving Pictures and 2112 album covers – fantastic works of art.  Rush always had awesome shows visually and so much of Hugh’s work played a prominent role during the concerts.

Patterson’s friend Brad Melchi, also of Carmel, said he’s been a follower of the band since 1983’s Grace Under Pressure and nabbed two copies of Art of Rush.

“One of the books is for my brother, who is also a big Rush fan. I was at the gallery opening in early November when Hugh was there and it was fantastic. When I heard that Hugh was coming back I had to be there.”  

Hugh Syme signs Megadeth “Father Vic” poster for a lucky fan

Another fan brought in a poster featuring the “Father Vic” image from Megadeth’s 1994 Youthanasia album.

“I couldn’t believe it. He signed my poster and told me how he made it. It’s my favorite Vic Rattlehead [Megadeth’s mascot] image of all time – I did art projects in high school based on that piece.”

As gallery patrons cradled armloads of Syme’s Rush book, Wise said he understands the love and devotion to the imagery.

“I immediately fell in love with their album art – the way each album used different themes and fonts for the Rush logo, the cover images, and the humor evident in the visual puns they employed.”

Hugh Syme autographs Rush’s “2112” album for fan Scott Patterson

It was a joyous evening for rock fans and art collectors alike. After having his albums signed, Patterson reminisced about his formative years growing up in Indianapolis and how music and art shaped his life.

I spent a ton of time in Karma records looking at album covers and posters. It was cool to thank Hugh for giving us all such moving and memorable experiences.”

Wise says the gallery of Syme’s work went up November 1 and will continue through January of 2020.

Watch Syme make an appearance at our sister station on FOX59’s Morning Show here.

Read the interview with Syme by Dave Lindquist from our newsgathering partners at IndyStar here

Follow Jeremiah Beaver at CBS4Indy.com and on Twitter: @JerBearMedia

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