Amory Arts Week was a flurry of activity for collectors, artists, and of course gallerists, the majority of whom travel thousands of miles, coordinating the shipping of art works, setting up their booths, and then greeting myriads of visitors over the course of four days, before tearing it all down, and shipping it back. We checked in with a group of gallerists about their experiences at 2013 Armory Arts Week, and their feelings about art fairs in general. Along with giving us their thoughts, gallerists also sent us their candid photos gallerists at SCOPE NY, Fountain Art Fair NY and VOLTA NY 2013.
Ken Harman from Spoke Art of San Francisco, who exhibited at SCOPE NY 2013 told us:
Art fairs are important because they give fans, collectors and curators a chance to view works from around the world in person. In this day and age it’s so easy to be bombarded online with art, but nothing is better than viewing new and exciting work first hand. Fairs create a venue where some of the best galleries and artists can come together, providing a must-see destination for serious art lovers.
Next up for Spoke Art: The San Francisco fairs in May, and the Miami fairs in December.
SCOPE NY 2013 exhibitor Lori Johns from C. Emerson Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Florida said:
NY was a very hard fair, but [artist] Jason Snyder dominated once again. I had interesting collectors return from Miami to buy this time in New York. And I had collectors this fair that had remembered me from years past and and had either purchased before or had saved my website in their browser as a favorite from last year. I consider myself branding still. I am growing in a global market and being a part of the collective movement in conceptual art. Each fair I lean something new about how I want to approach the next fair and where I want to position myself.
As a three-fairs-per-year SCOPE exhibitor, CEFA: will exhibit at SCOPE in Basel, Switzerland.
Noah Antineau from Red Truck Gallery of New Orleans who exhibited at SCOPE NY 2013, shared his highlights:
… A pretty great little Irish Bar across from the show; the girls from Parlor Gallery (love them); the stuff Ken brought from Spoke Art; and exploring Hoboken (we stayed on that side of the river). We ednded up having lots of Sandy/Katrina chats with the Hobokenites.
… For us, [art fairs are] a great source of revenue (generally). Also, they always lead to more stuff — the Shooting Gallery show came as a result of drinking with the owner in our booth in Miami.
Look for Red Truck Gallery at artMRKT San Francisco in May.
Andrew Hosner from Thinkspace Gallery from Culver City/Los Angeles who exhibited at SCOPE NY 2013, discussed the other NY fairs and expanded on the boundless benefits of art fair involvement:
We had a great trip to NYC resulting in selling over two-thirds of our booth and gaining many new patrons to grow with over the years to come. [We also] went and visited Fountain, Volta and The Armory Show. Really enjoyed the works at Volta and felt Fountain was the fair to check out to discover young and fresh talent. The Armory felt like a Walmart of contemporary art, wasn’t really my thing…
It’s hard to put a ‘worth’ on showing at fairs; all signs point to the opportunity being truly next level. They put artists in front of collectors and curators that would normally never come into contact with their work. That, and you can have your work seen by 10 times more folks in 3 to 5 days than would ever have the chance to come through any gallery exhibit.
Thinkspace will go back on the road in June to SCOPE in Basel, Switzerland with works by Audrey Kawasaki and Esao Andrews. Then, it’s onto SCOPE Miami in December with Kawasaki and Dabs Myla.
Joan McLoughlin from The McLoughlin Gallery of San Francisco who also exhibited at SCOPE, said her favorite elements of Armory Arts Week included:
…Interacting with some key collectors… It is an opportunity to enhance the exposure of the artists and the gallery to a larger, more international market space.
…Being able to see a lot of artwork some great and extremely creative others works in progress.
…Didn’t have time [to visit other fairs] but did hear that Volta and the Independent were great.
The McLoughlin Gallery: will also be SCOPE in Basel, Switzerland where they’ll support David Middlebrook and Christopher H. Martin, who are exhibiting in the group show Time, Space and Existence in the Venice Biennale.
Another 2013 SCOPE exhibitor Fabien Castanier from Fabien Castanier Gallery of Los Angeles said his most memorable vision from New York was:
The snow! But more seriously, I was so focused at SCOPE that I didn’t have the time to visit any other art fairs to see anything else. But yes, since I’m excited about New York, it confirmed for us that it will be important to have a space over there…. This was my fourth art fair in four months — Miami, L.A., Miami again, and New York. They are important because that’s where we meet the most important collectors, curators, etc., and it’s the best way to get feedback on our gallery program.
Fabien Castanier Gallery’s busy schedule includes a possible showing at SCOPE Basel, then Art Southampton in July, followed by Context Art Miami in December.
Michael Lyons Weir from Lyons Weir Gallery of New York who exhibited at VOLTA NY 2013, visited several other fairs aside from VOLTA, where he exhibited the work of Greg Haberny, told us:
It is just tantamount to be in front of the collectors, refreshing old relationships and establishing new. I like Volta because of its solo presentation. The folks that purchase from us are instantly familiarized with an in-depth vocabulary of the artist and become long-time enthusiasts and patrons of the gallery.
… Armory was laid out very well this year and the caliber of art was solid. Scope held true to their breeder agenda. Independent adds the curatorial flare that is always nice to see work in different contexts.
Lyons Weir Gallery’s next fair is Art Toronto.
Jenn Hampton from Parlor Gallery of New Jersey, who exhibited at SCOPE NY 2013, said:
The highlights during Amory Arts week were obviously being in SCOPE, our second art fair, but I was also super excited about seeing the WK preview at Jonathan LeVine’s pop up space… And I loved reconnecting with all the other galleries that we met in Miami. I got to visit Fountain as well, which is always a good time — run by good people and always a great place to see interesting galleries and artwork — and people watch, of course. I think that fairs are important because of the art. I am always so inspired when I get back from the fairs. Not only is the art inspiring, but also the stories about the art as well as the gallery and their unique stories. We really enjoy spending time with gallerists that we don’t get to see since they are on the other side of the country. We really love the guys from Thinkspace and the boys from Truck Red Gallery, and also Ken from Spoke Art. I wish we could visit with them more. We also made some new friends as well.
Next up for Parlor Gallery: Their sights are set on doing a west coast fair. Stay tuned!
Armory Arts Week took place Mar. 6-10, 2013. For additional coverage please see: “Highlights from Armory: Recap from Arists’ Point of View.”
Top photo: Greg Haberny at VOLTA NY