SF Fine Art Fair inaugurates a new decade

San Francisco Fine Art Fair

San Francisco Fine Art Fair

This weekend, San Francisco will welcome the city’s first international Fine Art Fair in nearly a decade. This first edition of the SF Fine Art Fair, taking place May 21st – May 23rd at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion, will feature approximately 70 internationally renowned galleries, displaying over $300 million in modern and contemporary artwork by more than 500 artists.

According to the organizers, visitors to the SF Fine Art Fair (SFFAF) will experience a full weekend of artistic excellence in a 50,000 sq. ft. setting designed to accentuate and highlight a spectacular selection of paintings, works on paper, drawings, printed editions, photography and sculpture (both indoors and outdoors) by the world’s leading artists.

Adding to the excitement and quality of the Fair experience, SFFAF organizers are resisting the current art fair trend of ‘more is better,’ and are instead selecting a limited number of Fair exhibitors in order to create a greater sense of intimacy amongst Fair attendees and exhibitors. Notes SFFAF Executive Director Rick Friedman, “By accepting a limited number of participating galleries at the Fair, we’re able to build an optimal attendee/gallery ratio and ultimately provide a better and more personal viewing and buying experience for all.”

Providing attendees with rare opportunities to view and purchase works from collections held by galleries across the globe, the 2010 SF Fine Art Fair exhibitors include such notable galleries as Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Berlin’s Walter Bischoff Galerie and London’s Rebecca Hossack Gallery, New York City’s DC Moore Gallery and Forum Gallery, Chicago’s Catherine Edelman Gallery, and San Francisco’s Catharine Clark Gallery and Hackett|Mill Gallery, who will be exhibiting investment-level artwork from an international array of modern and contemporary artists.

With nearly 85% of the SFFAF participating galleries based in North America and 25% of these galleries located in the Bay Area, SFFAF organizers were inspired to earmark a portion of the Fair’s funds towards highlighting arts in the Bay Area. As part of this commitment, the SFFAF opening gala and collector’s preview event on Thursday evening, May 20th will benefit the San Francisco Art Institute, one of the nation’s oldest arts education institutions, founded in 1871. Further focus on the Bay Area includes honoring excellence in the arts through a series of lifetime achievement awards, which will be presented by SFFAF organizers to both locally and internationally recognized artists and gallerists, including San Francisco gallerist Ruth Braunstein, who is retiring after 50 years. The SF Fine Art Fair will also be sponsoring a grant to Silicon Valley non-profit, ZER01: The Art & Technology Network to commission a technology-based art installation.

In addition to traditional gallery-curated booths, the SF Fine Arts Fair will feature LIFT, a series of gallery-sponsored solo artist booths focused on highlighting some of the best new talents and trends in contemporary art. LIFT galleries will be located throughout the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion exhibition space, offering fair-goers the opportunity to meet and purchase works by carefully selected, up-and-coming artists from around the world. Fair attendees will also have the opportunity to experience another form of up-and-coming via Distillers Liquid Art, a series of 8 bars that will be set-up throughout the exhibition space serving samplings from some of America’s top artisinal distilleries.

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