This weekend, head downtown to the city’s first traditional arts fair of 2013, the Outsider Art Fair. Outsider has been widely recognized for their importance in the field of folk art but has recently been purchased by Wide Open Arts, who transformed the “scrappy” old fair into what it will be this weekend, hosted in a new setting (Center 548 at 548 West 22nd Street) and with many new dealers.
The fair’s website describes it as such:
Founded by Sanford Smith in 1993, the Outsider Art Fair soon became a critical and commercial success and the leading, annual event in the field of Outsider, Self-Taught and Folk Art. Recognized for its maverick spirit, the fair played a vital role in building a passionate collecting community as crowds flocked annually to New York’s Puck Building, the event’s original site during its first 15 years.
Under Wide Open Arts, a new company formed by art dealer Andrew Edlin, the Outsider Art Fair has moved to Chelsea at the site of the former Dia Foundation and will continue to provide a dynamic atmosphere for dealers to showcase compelling and unusual artworks. The 2013 fair will also add new elements, including the sponsorship of guest curatorial projects and other special events. Visitors to the fair can expect to find prime examples of works by both legendary and newly discovered artists.
Outsider’s transformation has received quite a bit of press this year, and their inclusion of lectures and an exhibition are not to be missed by art-lovers or up-and-coming artists. The forty exhibitors are mainly from the US (all corners of the country, from New York to Chicago, Chattanooga to Santa Fe), but also include galleries from London, Switzerland, Tokyo, and even Haiti. Watch out for Galerie St. Etienne, one of the oldest galleries in New York, Pure Vision Arts, which provides mentoring and art therapy for individuals with autism and other developmental diseases, and Pan American Art Projects, a California-based gallery that specializes in the arts of the Americas.
Chicago’s Judy Saslow Gallery will be presenting works by Jordan Scott, large pieces that are actually made of postage stamps and the Columbus, Ohio space, Lindsay Gallery, will present neat little animal woodworks by Stephen Sabo. Garde Rail Gallery in Austin, Texas will offer realistic painted images of dolls by Holly Farrell and Pure Vision Arts will have colorful landscape paintings from William Britt.
Programs will take place throughout the entire weekend, beginning with Thursday night’s inaugural tribute to Mario del Curto, in honor of Geneviève Roulin. An exhibition of del Curto’s photographs will be on view at the fair throughout the weekend. A special exhibition of works by outsider artist Renaldo Kuhler, who created his own world of art titled Rocaterrania, will also be on view. Special talks and panel discussions will take place Friday through Sunday – get a chance to speak with artists, curators, art professors, museum directors, and art critics.
Outsider Art Fair takes place this Thursday, January 31 through Sunday, February 3. For more information, check out their website at outsiderartfair.com. If you stop by the show, let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the space below – did you buy anything, did one piece catch your eye, did you have a great conversation with an artist? We want to hear all about it!
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