Visual Art Nov 7, 2012 at 4:00 am

The Great New Art Fair with the Bad Name

Dan Tague’s Almighty Dollar, 2012.


As someone who's entire platform is about making art accessible - note the difference in language - through Length Width Height, I can see and appreciate the value of this fair. In fact, I was invited to participate but two things got in the way: namely, I'm busy curating shows, working full time, and opening a brick and mortar space; and also that booth was way too expensive for this small-house gallery.

But it's true. Affordable art does exist in Seattle. LxWxH sells curated boxes for $225. SEA-CAT sells a broad range of affordable works by artists. ArtsYo is the newest on the scene, featuring small works by Seattle artists. And other existing galleries have always had a range of work available for purchase.

The one thing this fair offers is an opportunity to reach out to a broader audience, which is critically important in Seattle. We have a huge untapped market of people interested in art but who feel they don't have access. Who have collectors traditionally been, and does that stereotype have to continue?

Who's to say art collectors aren't artists, IT techs, software execs, video game designers, restaurant workers, and on and on?

Access and sustainability are key. If this fair is a doorway, then I applaud the entry.

I think anything that can diminish the perception of art in general and galleries in specific as being clinical, aloof and (sorry) pretentious is a good thing. Locally, things like Small Voids and LxWxH have done a great job of this and I think that this event (yeah, I can't use the name either) could make a larger statement.

And while I agree with Kucera that the galleries in Seattle are open and approachable (including his), I have to admit to a certain irrational worry that when I go to a new-to-me gallery that THIS will be the time that I'm met by that stereotypical curator/owner who greets every comment with disdain and won't even discuss the price with someone in THAT kind of outfit.
not that I'm inferring I'm busier than anyone else - uh, ha! oops. I only meant that this particular month was too crazy to participate and I'm not at the point where I can quit my dayjob. also $$$$.

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