New to Collecting Art? Go to an Art Fair.
If you love art and think it’s time to begin collecting, but you’re still trying to figure out what’s good and what’s not, art fairs have become a great way to have fun and educate yourself. The art fair allows you to see artwork in a wide variety of categories. It is a perfect place to discover many galleries and artists in a single afternoon, and learn what styles and mediums you like.
Some fairs focus on specific types of artwork, such as photography, prints, antiques, design or contemporary art, while others present a broader range. The artwork is usually very good quality, because the cost of participating in an art fair limits participation to top galleries and dealers. Some art fair organizers also curate the fairs with invitations to select galleries and artists.
In San Francisco, we launched 2018 with FOG Design+Art and UNTITLED Art Fair this month. The Winter Antique Show opens this week in New York, and in Los Angeles, Art Los Angeles Contemporary and stARTup Art Fair are big draws next week. That's a definite uptick in the art world for the month of January!
Doing your homework can help you select the fair that best fits your style and need.
The first step is to decide what you like. What makes you look and what draws your attention? Do you have an affinity for antiques or contemporary art? Maybe you like design or are you all about crafts? Have a look at our Art Fair Calendar (it wouldn't fit on this page, so, here is the blog link!), with descriptions to find the one closest and most convenient to you. And don’t forget to check out the art section of The New York Times or your favorite major newspaper or read go-to art publications like ARTnews.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City are not the only places for great art fairs! Most major metro regions have art fairs. Miami has Art Basel, Chicago’s Expo is very cool, and the Dallas Art Fair, the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market and the Seattle Art Fair are a few more examples. Many of the same galleries that attend the big NYC art fairs, such as The Armory Show and Frieze, also participate in these fairs. If you travel internationally, you could plan your holiday around art fairs in Basel (Switzerland), Paris, Hong Kong, and Dubai, to name a few, since each fair generally last four days from start to finish.
Get your tickets in advance. Buying online is a time-saver, but some tickets are expensive (Miami's Art Basel was last going for $60 to the general public). To keep costs affordable, especially while you’re figuring things out, call your local museums and libraries. Sometimes, they receive—and share—free tickets to local art events. If you are friendly with galleries that go to these fairs, let them know you plan to go to, and maybe they will send you a ticket. And don't forget student discounts! Art fairs want attendance and, in the USA and Europe, student and senior discounts might be available.
When you arrive at your art fair, make the most of your time! In my next post, I’ll suggest a few things you can do at the fair so that you will have the most fun and a wonderful experience. For now, enjoys these snaps. I will post a table on my next blog for 2018 art fairs in the USA, and internationally, to help you schedule which fair you might be most interested in attending. I hope to see you there!