Friday, May 21, 2010

SF Fine Art Fair - Why?

Last night I attended opening preview for the SF Fine Art Fair. It was a lovely evening down at Fort Mason with beautiful light. It's always nice taking a trip down there. That alone made it worth going.

As for the Art Fair, I have to ask what was the point of this event? The opening was a well attended benefit, but I am not sure who will be attending over the weekend.

There were about 80 galleries represented, half of the galleries were Bay Area galleries with about 25 being right in San Francisco. Many were the familiar Union Square galleries. For out-of-town collectors, this was a good opportunity to get a survey of the local, high-end gallery scene. Are collectors really traveling to San Francisco for this art fair though?

For locals, there is a chance to get a preview of some "off the beaten path" galleries in San Francisco. For example Art Zone 461 has a booth as does Gallery 16. It was also good to see some nearby galleries represented from places like Oakland and Jay Jay in Sacramento.

There was no representation of local arts organizations (as was done in the previous art fair about 10 years ago). The fair organizers clearly made no provision for local non-profits like ArtSpan and Visual Aid. Of course the galleries paid dearly to have booths. The booths were maxed out and full in an attempt to show as much art as possible. Think craft show, but where most everything is over $1,000. It would have been good to see some space dedicated to showcasing new work. Sadly, there was little to see at the Art Fair to get excited about.

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