Seattle Art Fair Draws Bigger Crowds, Exhibitors, and Sales

August 7, 2017

The third Seattle Art Fair brought crowds of art lovers and collectors from around the world, and strong support from the Seattle community. In the largest fair to date, 22,500 attendees experienced art from 100 galleries ranging from blue-chip national and international galleries to impressive local favorites including the long-standing Greg Kucera, James Harris and Woodside/Braseth galleries.

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

Not only did attendance grow significantly, but the selection of exhibitors increased to 100, topping the 84 in 2016 and 62 in 2015.
Many first-time exhibitors were please by the community support they witnessed during the fair — which, for many, resulted in a handful of new clients, and purchases.

“We felt that collectors were serious and engaged,” said Seth Curcio of Shulamit Nazarian, a first-time exhibitor at the fair. We were excited that some of our largest works were placed within the first two 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!”

Attendees also took note of the heightened number of galleries, and the variety of offerings at the fair. “The range of talent is so dense if you walk around slowly and take a good look at everything you will be transformed and new possibilities will open to you,” said Buddy Foley of Seattle. “I’ve been here every day and I still haven’t seen everything.”
This year’s fair featured a robust lineup of programming, creating opportunities for attendees to engage in works beyond visual arts. Visitors were pleased by the wide variety of performances, featuring Dylan Mira and Erika Voigt’s new collaboration Pool at the historic Union Station, Ellen Lesperance’s W.I.T.C.H. performances in Occidental Square, and conversation between SFMOMA curator Jenny Gheith and Gagosian artist Nancy Rubins. What resulted was an immense collection of innovation. Touching on film and dance, musical performance and a plethora of visual arts from paintings to sculptures and electronic installations.

“The Seattle Art Fair is a visual overload,” Clarissa Callesen, a visitor from Ferndale said. “It’s been amazing to see this quality of art and diversity in one room.”

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.


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