Seattle Art Fair’s Record Attendance, Strong Sales, and 100 Exhibitors

(Seattle, WA — August 07, 2017)
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The 2017 Seattle Art Fair crowd. Courtesy of the Seattle Art Fair.

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is proud to share that the third edition of the fair culminated with strong sales reports from dealers and positive feedback from collectors, artists, visitors, and the local Seattle community. The third edition of the fair was the largest and best attended to date, with 100 exhibitors and 22,500 guests throughout the weekend. The Seattle Art Fair, now it is third year, was founded by Paul G. Allen and is co-produced by Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and Art Market Productions.

Max Fishko, the Director of Seattle Art Fair said: “We are pleased by the increase in attendance by collectors from the greater Pacific Northwest, the regional US, and the international art world, which resulted in strong sales. We look forward to continuing to establish the Seattle Art Fair as the premiere fair for modern and contemporary art on the West Coast.”

Julie Roberts of Roberts & Tilton: “The fair was successful on many levels including acquisitions and reserves by institutions and private collectors.”

Eva Chimento of Chimento Contemporary, who placed many Laura London photos said: “It was our first time participating in Seattle Art Fair and the opening atmosphere was electric. We sold works right away... within the first five minutes!”

Charlie Davidson of Davidson Contemporary, who sold works by Sophie Bouvier Ausländer, Pedro S. de Movellan, and Boo Saville, said: "The crowd was very good and the city came out to support the fair. We made sales everyday and though they were mostly smaller items, they were all to local and new clients.

Megan Foster of Other Criteria said: "Damien Hirst's newest pharmaceutical series, Eat the Rich, was embraced by Seattle's biotech community with works being placed in important private and institutional collections. Seattle based collectors are enthusiastic, informed and eager to add to their collections."

Seth Curcio of Shulamit Nazarian said: “For our first year at the Seattle Art Fair, we felt that collectors were serious and engaged. We were excited that some of our largest works, including a major sculpture by Fay Ray were placed within the first 2 days. We met with curators from throughout the west coast and our performance with NY-based artist Naama Tsabar drew hundreds of viewers each day!”

James Harris of James Harris Gallery said: “We participated for three years and it has been the best year yet. We have new clients from out of town and placed an Akio Takamori sculpture in Colorado. We're excited for next year!”
 

Clockwise from Top Left: 1) A guest looks on at Pablo Picasso's works at John Szoke. 2) Guests at UTA Artist Space examining Kurt Cobain's artworks. 3) Artist Jeffrey Gibson’s "LIKE A HAMMER,” which is presented with Roberts & Tilton as part of Seattle Art Fair’s projects, organized by Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Laura Fried. 4) 2017 Seattle Art Fair crowd. All images courtesy of the Seattle Art Fair

BY THE NUMBERS
The 2017 Seattle Art Fair had 100 exhibitors, a 19% increase from 84 exhibitors in 2016 and a 61% increase from 62 exhibitors in 2015.

22,500 guests attended the 2017 Seattle Art Fair, a 25% increase from the approximately 18,000 visitors in 2016 and a 50% increase from the approximately 15,000 visitors in 2015.

5,000 guests attended the 2017 VIP and Beneficiary Preview, a 25% increase from 4,000 attendees in 2016.

The 2017 Seattle Art Fair presented a total of 8 projects on-site, 5 talks, 2 off-site projects, and one film premiere— curated by the fair’s Artistic Director Laura Fried. (Programming highlights below.)

Over 150 national and press outlets wrote about the fair and its exhibitor highlights, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, ArtInfo, Interview, ArtSpace, and W, as well as many Seattle outlets including The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, KING5, Seattle PI, City Arts Magazine, and Seattle Magazine.
 

22,500 visitors attended the 2017 Seattle Art Fair. Photo Courtesy of Seattle Art Fair.

ACCORDING TO THE PRESS
“Seattle Art Fair solidifies standing in year three. Event adds blue-chip galleries and international flavour to attract national as well as regional collectors.” – Sarah Hanson, The Art Newspaper

“But the real excitement of the Seattle Art Fair springs from making fresh discoveries. And with an unprecedented 100 exhibitors from Europe, Asia and North America setting up booths at the 2017 fair, there are plenty of discoveries to be made.” – Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

“In the fair’s third year, established and younger galleries alike are clearly trying to strike a balance between appealing to Seattle’s roster of old-guard collectors while also actively courting a younger generation of wealthy tech industrialists and international buyers. It makes for a varied, eclectic selection of art on offer.” – Eileen Kinsella, Artnet News

“This year, the art fair’s layout feels much more fluid and porous… That’s great news for visitors, who want to be at ease as they look at the art. And hopefully it will be great news for the gallerists, too. When people can more easily fall in love with a work, they are more likely to take it home, after all.” – T.S. Flock, Vanguard Seattle
 

Left: Naama Tsabar's Closer performance, Presented with Shulamit Nazarian. Right: Ellen Lesperance W.I.T.C.H. performance presented with Adams & Ollman. Both performances were part of Seattle Art Fair’s projects, organized by Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Laura Fried.

FAIR HIGHLIGHTS
Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Laura Fried’s diverse lineup of Projects and Talks, including Dylan Mira and Erika Vogt’s new collaboration Pool at the historic Union Station, SFMOMA curator Jenny Gheith in conversation with Gagosian artist Nancy Rubins on the artist's prolific career, and Ellen Lesperance’s W.I.T.C.H. performances in Occidental Square.

Laura Fried, the Artistic Director of Seattle Art Fair said: "The programming has taken a strong focus on public engagement. Thanks to our robust cultural partnerships, the deep level of engagement among our audience, and of course the contributions from both local and international artists."

Notable guests throughout the weekend included Seattle Art Fair founder Paul Allen, Sarah Barton, Larry Benaroya, Dale Chihuly & Leslie Jackson Chihuly, Barney & Rebecca Ebsworth, Adam Glant, Adrian Hanauer & Khanh Tran, Dick & Betty Hedreen, Janet Ketcham, Tom Kundig, Amin Lakha, Firoz Lalji, Stewart Landefeld, Jim & Katherine Olson, Kimerly Rorschach, Joseph Rosa, Faye Sarkowsky, Jon & Kim Shirley, Jairus & Winnie Stratton, George Suyama, Sylvia Wolf, Lidia Andich (Gagosian Gallery), Robert Goff (David Zwirner), James Harris, Davida Nemeroff (Night Gallery), William Hathaway (Night Gallery), Greg Kucera, Elizabeth Sullivan (Pace Gallery), and Catharina Manchanda (Seattle Art Museum curator).

As presenting partner of the Seattle Art Fair and the fair’s VIP After Party, AIG offered a panel discussion on the life cycle of an art collection, from acquisition to disposition. Delta Air Lines presented the fair’s café and lounge, J.P. Morgan Chase the collector's lounge, and Windermere Real Estate the fair’s VIP lounge.

ABOUT THE SEATTLE ART FAIR
The Seattle Art Fair is a one-of-a-kind destination for the best in modern and contemporary art and a showcase for the vibrant arts community of the Pacific Northwest. Based in Seattle, a city as renowned for its natural beauty as its cultural landscape, the fair brings together the region’s strong collector base; local, national, and international galleries; area museums and institutions; and an array of innovative public programming. Founded in 2015 by Paul G. Allen, the Seattle Art Fair is produced by Vulcan Inc. and Art Market Productions.