The Spectrum Awards were established by Cathy and Arnie Fenner as "a regular showcase for the best fantasy, science fiction, horror, and otherwise uncategorizable artwork created each year." In 1993, they announced a call for entries to the arts community to submit work. Beginning in 1994, works selected by jury have been compiled in an anthology, Spectrum – The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, published annually by Underwood Books. Eight of the anthologies have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work: Spectrum 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 15.
In May 2013 at the second annual Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in Kansas City, Cathy and Arnie Fenner announced that John Fleskes of Flesk Publications would be taking over as the director, editor, and publisher of the SPECTRUM anthology.