The Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios for the Big Upcoming Seattle Art Fair


It's not that "Seattle has no collector base." And Paul Allen is but one collector in a powerful group of collectors here who touch our local lives as arts patrons more than, perhaps, as collectors. The truth is there are quite a number of minor, major, and stellar collectors here, as in any city our size, who are significant locally and internationally as arts patrons. They may not BUY much locally because they aren't generally being offered the range, quality in artworks that they might want. The other side of that coin is that, by not buying locally, they're not empowering the dealers here to show better art or in a more prestigious way. Let's face it, art collectors with wealth often collect art as one of the benefits of travel, and when they travel they actually make time to look at art and to collect. The ability to travel and collect art are thus intertwined with wealth. I hasten to add, lots of middle class folks who aren't particularly wealthy also collect art and also travel and are also patrons here. That is a very large part of the art buying audience in Seattle.

The beauty of an art fair is that the local audience doesn't have to go far to see a broad range of art from elsewhere. While it would have been easy to fill this fair with dealers from Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Sun Valley, the good thing about this fair is that, with a large New York contingent (22), and dealers from elsewhere, the galleries from Seattle (13) will be able to show the best of Seattle's artists alongside their peers from elsewhere in a better context than exists here usually.

Hopefully, even the many local galleries who didn't get into the fair will put on their best efforts for the audience assembling for this event.

Near the art fair, FEAT 2015 will be an exhibition of the 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship recipients. Sponsored by Artist Trust, Art of the City, Galvanize and Hilliard's Beer, the show of fourteen artists will be at 111 S. Jackson Street, in the lower level of an historic pioneer square building. Hours are the same as the art fair. Join us for the party Friday July 31, 6 - 10 pm. Free entrance, refreshments provided. For info: