Herald Square, Manhattan, NYC
Last night, the New York installment of Affordable Art Fair opened its doors to hundreds of lucky previewers for the Spring edition of this must-see art world event. Now in its twelfth year, the fair has become the go-to for new collectors, gallerists scouting for what’s hot, and those looking for a good deal on some great art. But the visitors weren’t all your usual posh, intimidating art-scene types: some of those were certainly in attendance, but so were some distinctly regular folks! That’s because Affordable Art Fair’s mission is to bring contemporary art to a wider audience by making it accessible—both financially and theoretically—and to support emerging artists, whose work doesn’t always make the cut of the more established fairs, alongside some of the world’s biggest names in art. With over 70 galleries exhibiting contemporary art throughout the weekend, the fair is a great place to start if you’re considering starting a collection or even if you just want to get an idea of what’s out there if you’re on a budget (and who isn’t, really?): many pieces are priced under $1,000.
Special events accompanying the fair include a ten year retrospective of student work from the School of Visual Arts, while workshops and programs such as “The Art of Living with Art” moderated by Maria Brito (a fan of Artsicle’s, incidentally) and a “Just Like Andy Workshop” for kids will also take place each day of the fair. The Café catered by Monterone proves a favorite spot for visitors to take a break; the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts has a Printmaking Workshop where visitors can take home their own etchings; and Firelei Baez hosts an Open Studio daily, all in the 34th street space.
Among the impressive booths representing galleries from all over the world, we spotted Artsicle artists Ellie Winberg and Mauricio Morillas’s ArtMix down one of the lettered aisles. “ArtMix believes there are many types of people who appreciate and collect art from many different backgrounds and budgets,” Ellie told us. “Therefore, we are open to different venues, including local Brooklyn open studio tours, art fairs, white glove galleries, online galleries and art rentals.” A packed floor of galleries in agreement with this concept proves that there is ample space in the market for the amateur collector: increasingly, well-established galleries are participating in events like Affordable Art Fair to keep up with this quickly growing sector.
Affordable Art Fair runs until April 22nd. You can even get in for free tonight, April 19th! Chances are, you’ll want to return on multiple days, so come early and often.