Market Art + Design is raising its tent and installing outdoor sculptures in preparation for the opening of its 2017 Hamptons art fair. Returning to its long-standing Bridgehampton location—set on the grounds of The Bridgehampton Museum, home of the Bridgehampton Historical Society—the art fair is quietly celebrating its seventh year in the Hamptons. Originally called artMKT Hamptons, the Hamptons fair was the first for the art fair production company that grew to currently produce six American art fairs. Operating under Art Market Productions, its art fairs include Miami Project, Art on Paper, Seattle Art Fair, Texas Contemporary and Art Market San Francisco.
In an unexpected turn of events, Market Art + Design is the only art fair returning to the Hamptons this season, after both Art Southampton and Art Hamptons decided to skip a trip to the Hampton in 2017 to focus on expanding in the Miami art fair market.
Art Miami is prepping to unveil a new expanded location where Art Miami and Context Miami will be held, near its former long-standing location in the Design District on NE 1st Avenue. Art Hamptons, purchased by Urban Expositions last year, is preparing for its first Miami fair with an emphasis on design. Their website presents hope for a Hamptons future with the message "Art Hamptons has been postpone for 2017. Check back for 2018 dates."
Their absence is fine with Kelly Freeman, director of Market Art + Design. “They’re retracting and we’re not,” she said in a recent phone interview. “We’re committed to The Hamptons and our present course of action.”
When Market Art + Design opens with its VIP Preview on Thursday, July 6, 2017, visitors can expect to find an expanded edition presenting contemporary and modern art along with the return of its Jewelbox Section featuring jewelry from American and international designers. The Hamptons art fair then opens to the public from July 7 to 9, 2017. There will be around 65 exhibitors, representing the largest edition to date.
The expansion may be the result of Art Southampton and Art Hamptons pulling out of the 2017 season. After learning these fairs weren’t returning, some galleries signed on to present at Market Art + Design instead. Freeman said the influx didn’t necessarily represent a “jumping of ship” between art fair producers as most galleries who signed on had already exhibited with Art Market Productions in other parts of the country.
“It’s a big show,” said Freeman. “It’s the biggest show we’ve presented so far. It shows that there is still interest for active collectors in The Hamptons and the East End.”
New for this year includes 101/EXHIBIT (West Hollywood); Pontone Gallery (London); Aureus Contemporary (roving locations); David Benrimon Fine Art (New York); Damien Hirst’s Other Criteria (London, Devon, New York); SPONDER GALLERY (Boca Raton) and others. Returning and new Hamptons galleries exhibiting include RJD Gallery (Bridgehampton); Kathryn Markel Fine Arts (Bridgehampton, New York); Roman Fine Art (East Hampton); Ille Arts (Amagansett) and others.
Freeman said she’s looking forward to returning to the Bridgehampton Historical Society grounds and feels confident their years of producing fairs at the location will embrace the expansion seamlessly. Out of the seven years, Market Art + Design has been presented six times at the Bridgehampton Museum location with one year presenting at a site overlooking Mecox Bay.
“We’re experienced art fair producer and we love working with the community and the presenters to make a strong fair,” she said. “We’ve had more galleries come on board so there will be a slightly different look this year.”
“What hasn’t changed is the way we approach presenting art fairs,” she continued. “Our environments are designed to encourage approachable and to foster a conversation between art exhibitors and the people who attend the fair. We do this by our wide aisles, by having plenty of space for exhibitors so the art can be readily seen and to make it more of a community event. People should feel comfortable to step back, consider for a moment what they’re looking at and then sharing their impressions and learning about the work.”
Their experience of producing fairs in the Hamptons has taught them this: Design is an integral part of what visitors enjoy as part of an art fair. This premium the area places on design and objects was the reason for bringing aboard design partner Palm Beach Show Group, who returns to present a mini-fair of high end jewelry set in a single section at Market Art + Design. The setting is elegant with most of the jewelry designs incorporating diamonds, said Freeman.
The co-presenting of jewelry, mid-century modern furniture and art is a natural for the Hamptons and encourages cross-pollination between art and design, she said.
“On the East End, a lot of people also collect high end design objects as they shop for their second homes,” she said. “There is a niche for object-oriented design here. At the fair, they can see the intersection of fine art and design. There is a tradition of one informing the other.”
In the same way, Hamptons homeowners are also interested in outdoor sculpture as there is room for sculpture and installations to be sited in concert with their grounds and the landscape design, said Freedman. All three of the art fairs included outdoor sculpture as part of the fair's offerings. In this year's edition, Market Art + Design presents installations outside and inside the art fair. Expect to see Cracking Art's Light Blue Snail, presented by Galleria Ca' d'Oro and sculpture by Harley Valentine, presented DURAN installed at various spots at the art fair.
Like every year, the VIP Preview doubles as a preview. The Parrish Art Museum is this year’s beneficiary. Along with connecting with Parrish, Market Art + Design is working with cultural partners on Long Island and New York City to offer access to the fair to their patrons and supporters. Partners include the Heckscher Museum of Art, Art League of Long Island, Guild Hall Museum, Nassau County Museum of Art, Watermill Center as well as the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Hewitt and Lincoln Center.
While confident in Market Art + Design’s staying power, Freedman acknowledged the Hampton presents its challenges for art fair producers.
“People on the East End want a fair in their area,” she said. “It’s a challenge and it’s a fierce one but we’re up for it.”
For a preview on select art at the fair, click here.
BASIC FACTS: Market Art + Design will be presented July 6 to 9, 2017 on the grounds of The Bridgehampton Museum, 2368 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. A VIP Preview Benefit will be held on Thursday, July 6, 2017 from 6 to 10 p.m. for VIP Pass and Preview Pass Holders Only. Tickets are $35 and include fair admission for the run of the fair.
The fair is open to the public Friday, July 7, 2017 from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for a multi-day pass and $20 for a single day pass. Click here to purchase. For details, visit www.artmarkethamptons.com.
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