The second annual Seattle Art Fair Opening Night 2016 on Thursday, August 4 kicked off its exciting weekend with the Beneficiary Preview and Opening Night parties. Many collectors from the east coast and California were present to check out the impressive array of works from 84 national and international galleries, from Buenos Aires to Paris to Seoul.
The Beneficiary Preview that began the night and proceeds supported Seattle Art Museum. Guests stopped for red-carpet photo opps before entering the CenturyLink Field Event Center and a first look at the fair. With over twenty more exhibitors than the inaugural year, Seattle Art Fair grew in its second year, but remained a manageable size. Interspersed among the booths were special installations curated by Artistic Director Laura Fried, allowing guests to have unique experiences along the way, beginning at the entrance, where guests encountered two replicas of an IBM supercomputer carved from graphite by Adam McEwen. This massive event was backed by presenting sponsor AIG and associate partners: Delta, J.P. Morgan and Windermere Real Estate. The highly eclectic and international Dealer Committee and Host Committee worked together to organize and support the fair as a whole.
Participating galleries included blue-chip art market leaders, such as Zwirner and Pace, as well as dozens of smaller galleries exhibiting everything from twentieth century classics to cutting-edge technological fantasies, including the playful “Blur Mirror” by Random International whose faceted panels detect observers and blur their reflections as they stood in front of it.
As the Beneficiary Preview came to an end, guests came pouring in, after queuing outside for hours to be the first inside for the public Opening Night Preview Party. Within minutes, the event center was teeming in guests of all ages, sporting everything from patrician pearls to punk rock studs. The fair is not just an opportunity for gallerists and artists to show and sell work, but also allows Seattle audiences a chance to see a high concentration of artwork from around the world without leaving the city. Of course, it also turns into a major social event. As much time was spent meeting, chatting and celebrating as observing the art.
THE VIP LOUNGE
Guests could also enjoy live music in the Delta 360 club or relax in the VIP lounge, designed for the second year by Olson Kundig and curated by Leigh Canlis and Windermere. Over the central bar in the lounge, a pink and purple fluorescent installation by Etta Lilienthal resembled a burst of heat lightning. The outdoor section featured tiered benches where guests could get comfy and sip champagne on a balmy, Seattle summer evening. It was a thrilling night for the arts and just the beginning of a weekend of art and performance that, even in just its second year, is energizing creativity and new collectors in the city and the region. Check out Tiffany Bri’s photo coverage of the evening below.
Be sure to check back often to VANGUARD Seattle for our extensive art fair coverage.