Must-See Memorial Day Art Fair

If you’ve never been to the Hudson Valley’s art & crafts show that takes place over Memorial Day weekend at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, you are definitely missing out. This event, in New Paltz, New York, has become an amazing destination for all things arts and crafts. This includes quality art and fine crafts. Called the Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair, it includes art & crafts demonstrations, entertainment by local musicians, wines, specialty foods and more. It’s been taking place since 1982 and is certainly worth the visit if you can get there this coming weekend.


Share Art with Mom for Mother’s Day

Yesterday and today the Art Birmingham fair has been taking place at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center at Shain Park. It’s one of the state’s most highly regarded art fairs and it’s the perfect way to spend Mother’s Day with the mom you love.

Natalya Hrecznyj

Natalya Hrecznyj

They offer more than 150 juried artists and feature a range of works from paintings and ceramics to photography and jewelry. They have a Youth Art Activities Tent as well called Printmaking in the Park where children 12 and under can create their own art.

One artist, Natalya Hrecznyj, is honored to be part of the show. She was on the waiting list last year and is featured in this year’s show. A longtime Dearborn resident, she first started designing items like clothing, handbags and jewelry out of leather about four years ago. As she said, “It’s just amazing when you take a piece of leather and make such great things out of it. I can make jewelry, bags, clothes.”

As she discussed her art, she said, “It’s like meditation for me or like doing yoga. It relaxes me, lets my creativity out and I forget about everything.”

Enjoy Natalya Hrecznyj’s designs and so many others at the fair today.

The Philadelphia Antique and Art Show

insulators-718487_960_720The Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show just closed with a preview night on April 14th and events from April 15-17. The show is a benefit for Penn Medicine and was chaired by Anne Hamilton and Nancy Kneeland this year. There were 58 dealers showing objects that ranged from $100 to more than a million dollars.

As co-manager Karen DiSaia said, “The show is filled with wonderful objects whose stories and histories help us understand more about ourselves and our collective past. There will be plenty of items at the show which are much less than high end fashion choices or even a fancy dinner at a restaurant, yet will resonate with the buyer for the rest of your life.”

For the first time in the show’s 54 years, dealers displayed contemporary art as well. As Hamilton explained, “We understand that the antiques market is changing. Our goal is to incorporate art into this show by letting the dealers bring 25% contemporary art. We are taking a step beyond the perimeters of a regular antique show and make it a little wider to appeal to a more general audience. Previously, everything literally has to be 100 years. If something was on the floor that the show managers questioned was an antique, it would be their job to question the dealer and remove the item if it didn’t meet the criteria for an antique.”

Describing the show, Hamilton called it a “living, walking talking museum. You can see art when you go into art museum but unless you take a guide you can’t really learn about it. You can go to the antiques show and every booth has a different guide in it. So you can learn so much.”

The show admission was $20 and included a printed catalogue and daily guided tours from 10-11am before the show opened each day. The show also had free panel discussions each day. Ellie Cullman discussed her new book, “A Dialog about Living with Antiques” with Stacey Bewkes, while there was a round-table of collectors moderated by Johanna McBrien.

Art as an Investment: Today’s Market

One way of investing money is by purchasing timeless art pieces. People enjoy the sense of competition offered via the purchase of expensive art pieces. According to one New York dealer, Andrew Kreps, in an article in ‘The Economist‘, “Some collectors always want what other collectors want. ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’ is the commandment that most confuses collectors.” But now economists are asking, is today’s economic climate changing that?  Maybe not.  While indeed low interest rates and an international decline has negatively impacting bonds and equities recently, the art sector does not seem to have been as adversely affected.

sculpture-378280_1280Last year, James Tarmy reported in Bloomsberg Businessweek that “sales of these works [art] have ballooned from $260 million in 1995 to $7.8 billion last year.” Although Chris Robbins in Private Wealth did more recently find that “since 2000 the global art market has grown at a 13% average annual rate [now] it is showing signs of cooling,” as noted in the Citi Private Bank’s ‘State of the Art Market’ report.

But rather than this factor discouraging potential art buyers from using their money to make an investment in the industry, Citi Private Bank art advisor Betsy Bickar suggests the opposite.  She says it should be seen as “a positive factor.”  She goes on to explain that “it means people are thinking about what they’re buying. The market is showing more selectivity because there’s so much opportunity to buy artworks now.”

Interestingly, the art market in China is one place that sees a lot of potential. Alexander Forbes spoke about art and investments in a recent article entitled, ‘Art Basel in Hong Kong Shows the Art Market What It Can Learn from the Chinese Economy.’  It was found that even though China is going through a financial dip, there has been an estimation from McKinsey & Company that there will be an increase of 10% per year from now until 2020 in spending because of escalating incomes.

In addition, while art sales are down, the sale of large auction house pieces has remained steadier. As Bickar noted, “private sales of artwork at the masterpiece level are happening. There was recently a $500 million-level private sale for two artworks.”  In addition, although big-name auctions are not as successful as they have been in the past, “art is still in demand as a financial instrument. Art lending, which uses pricey works of art as collateral, appears to be rising in popularity [with] most of the big banks lending with art as collateral. Art is being turned into a financial instrument, not just an aesthetic one, but that leads to some issues because the value of art is subjective.”


Tefaf Maastricht Expands


Europe’s largest and most prestigious art, antiques and design fair – Tefaf Maastricht – is going to be expanding to New York.  Organized under the auspices of the European Fine Art Foundation, it has until now been based out of the Netherlands.  But now, in conjunction with Artvest Partners, a bi-annual Tefaf Maastricht fair will convene at New York City’s cultural center, the Park Avenue Armory. The first will take place in October of this year and the second in May of next year.  Approximately 80-90 exhibitors from around the world will feature their wares there.

Described in a recent article in The Economist as being “the biggest, most prestigious combined art and antiques fair, where 270 dealers exhibit the best available antiques and works of art,” there is so much on offer for all ranges of art lovers.  It is a unique display of how “the barriers built by 19th century art historians—between fine and decorative art, high art and craft—have fallen down.”  Indeed, it is really “art, decoration and craft all in one.”

A missing painting that has been found was even being displayed there. Rembrandt’s ‘The Fainted Patient’ – one in a series depicting all five senses, this one being smell – was painted when the artist was around 18 years old since it was signed with his early signature of RHF (Rembrandt Harmenz Fecit).  It was discovered in New Jersey when it was brought to auction by a private collector.  Finally it is being displayed, right here at Tefaf.

Another fair that is broadening out of its original location is the Untitled Art Fair. Originally just displayed in Miami, in the beginning of next year, an additional location will be added: that of Pier 70.  It will work on a much smaller, more intimate scale than Miami initially with between 50 and 60 participants as a way of focusing on quality and to identify the level of interest.  According to a statement from Untitled, this “long term platform” is intended to “contribute to and grow alongside of the pioneering community in the Bay Area.” While San Francisco already has Art Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley Contemporary, organizers are hopeful that Untitled will be warmly received in the region.


A Feast for the Eyes with the Harbour View Gallery

easel-516957_960_720If you happen to be in the area, the Harbour View Gallery at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral, Florida is a fantastic place to stop. It’s a co-op gallery that has been exhibiting local art and hosting events for almost ten years. They have six managing member artists who work in the gallery each day and share duties. They also feature the work of other artists from the area. Since opening in the fall of 2007, they have hosted almost 200 local artists with their monthly artists program.

On the first Tuesday of the month, they have a public reception for two of the monthly featured artists from 6-8pm. The one that is scheduled for March 1 will include abstract acrylic paintings by Shirley Blake and clay art by Angela Aradia.

They also have a “Sip and Paint” event each month where two of the Gallery’s managing member artists help guests to pain with acrylic paints while enjoying wines from the Waterside Wine Club.

They have an art fair coming up as well on March 12 called “Art in the Pavilion” where local artists will have items for sale and there will also be a “Studio Clearance Sale” at that time.

This is definitely a place worth checking out and enjoying.

Hearing the Voices of Student Artists

If you happen to live in Phoenix or to be planning a trip, this is an exhibit not to miss. Opening February 6th, the Heard Museum at 2301 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix is having an exhibit called “Confluence: Inter-generational Collaborations.” The exhibit includes works co-created by seven pairs of American Indian artists from the Southwest area. Each pair includes one established mentor artist and one emerging artist between 16 and 20. The exhibit includes diverse mediums from film and painting to fashion design and fiber art. The works are actually being created and completed at the museum.
As described on the Heard website,

“Confluence is the merging of many artistic voices, exploring what it means to be young leaders and culture bearers in Indian Country today. At the present time, as Indian Country is changing and more tribal communities are experiencing a flux in their demographics—with percentages of people under 30 years old at an all-time high—the need for exchange between generations is critical. The collective understanding of “what is an elder” is another changing perspective. Generations are prioritizing the necessity to convene and collaborate with many age groups, to benefit cultural gain and to address issues facing their communities and people using fresh and relevant practices.”

The exhibit will take place from Saturday, February 6 through Sunday, April 17th.

The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Today is the final day of The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair that takes place each year in London at the London Marriot Hotel Grosvenor Square. It started on Thursday, January 7th and concluded today, on the 10th. Organized by the Antiques Dealers Fair Limited, the fair attracts collectors, interior designs and those who love antiques. It includes over 40 exhibitors, most of whom are members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association and LAPADA The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers.

As described by the Blouin Art Info site:

“For this fourth edition, the fair will offer an impressive selection of vintage jewelry, including a 4.14-carat emerald cut diamond ring, the iconic Hermès bracelet Chaîne d’Ancre, available at the fair in a gold version that the brand no longer makes, both by Anthea AG Antiques, and a rare French silver pendant depicting a WW1 scene, made in 1915 and offered at the fair by T Robert.”

Come and take a look, or book your tickets now for next year’s show!


Honors for Michigan Antique Festival and Lori Oberlin

Lori Oberlin, the owner of the Michigan Antique Festival recently received a letter of recognition signed by Rep. Gary Glenn, Sen. Jim Stamas and Gov. Rick Snyder. This festival brings antique dealers, visitors and vendors from around the country to Midland, Michigan every year. The festival is the biggest antique show in the state and will soon start its fifth decade of operations. They estimate that about 75,000 people visit the five annual statewide events.

As the letter said in part, “Since its inception, the Michigan Antique Festival has been an annual tradition observed not only by those in Midland, but throughout our entire state. This dynamic and vibrant tradition draws thousands of visitors annually, making the Michigan Antique Festival a truly unique Pure Michigan experience.”

As Oberlin told the Daily News, “This was quite an honor for us,”

The Michigan Antique Festival will be in Davisburg October 3-4 at the Springfield Oaks County Park.


Two Toronto Fairs Not to Miss

If you are in Toronto, then you’ll want to catch the 16th annual Art Toronto Fair. This fair is billed as Canada’s longest-running and most-established international art fair and it will be happening this week from October 23-26. The opening for the public is on Friday and it will last until Monday afternoon. It’s being presented in tandem with the Feature Contemporary Art Fair which takes place Thursday through Sunday afternoon (October 22-25).

Last year’s attendance for the Art Toronto Fair reached 20,000. This year, they are renting about 16,000 square meters of space at the Metro Convention Centre. They will have over 113 exhibitors including 91 galleries and an eight-member dealer advisory committee. They hope to surpass the $19 million in sales that they had last year. The Feature, which had more than 3000 visitors last year and sales of more than $1 million, will be at the Canadian Opera Company building ten minutes east of AT. They have their 29 featured galleries in two locations, with 18 on the main floor and 11 in another upstairs space.