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The Seattle Affordable Art Fair opens on November 8th. For four days, Seattlites and out-of-towners can participate in this inspiring, fun and artistic event. A unique space – the Seattle Center –will become the home of 50 galleries exhibiting original paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs at prices starting from $100 a piece. The Affordable Art Fair is an international Fair that takes place annually from Los Angeles to London to Hong Kong and Brussels. Jennifer Jacobs, the director of the Affordable Art Fair Seattle, reveals more about this unique Fair as an insider, provides insight for young artists and describes one of her busy days!
FF: What is the Affordable Arts Fair and how did you come up with this concept?JJ: I’ve lived in the NW for almost 20 years, and have found it puzzling that it has been so long since Seattle has had a great art fair!
The story of the Affordable Art Fair is best seen on our website here. I have been a part of building the Seattle launch of the Affordable Art Fair, which started well over a year ago in research and planning; for us, Seattle seemed a natural destination – the region has long been known as a place of creativity and innovation, with a fantastic artistic community.
FF: What type of art is exhibited in this Fair?JJ: You’ll find a little something for everyone. It’s our job to make sure a variety of aesthetic traditions, viewpoints and geographies are represented, all of the highest quality. Works are priced from $100-$10,000 – with 50% of works at $5,000 and below.
FF: How many artists take place?JJ: We have approximately 50 galleries featuring hundreds of artists – each applicant is required to show at least three artists in their booth.
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FF: Is there a particular gallery or artist you would like to single out for this year Fair? A must-visit?
JJ: In addition to the fantastic galleries on show, I would make sure not to miss our artistic programs and demonstrations. As a print lover, I’m particularly excited about the 4 day demonstration with Sidereal Press, featuring some of Seattle’s best-known artists. (Full description and schedule here). I would also recommend checking out our schedule of tours led by art experts – a great way to see the fair and learn more about collecting art.
FF: On a personal level, are you an artist?
JJ: I’m not an artist, but am lucky to have many in my life. I have been fortunate enough to have been working in the arts for almost 2 decades!
FF: Tell us about a typical day in the life of the AAF Seattle Director
JJ: It starts early, catching up on email and skyping with colleagues in Europe and the East Coast. I spend the rest of my day on the phone, talking to galleries about the Fair, and flushing out different aspects of local programming and outreach. When I’m lucky, these visits are done in person, giving me a great excuse to get out and see the different exhibitions on view…sometimes it stretches into evening openings and events. It’s a great life!FF: If you could decorate your work area any way you liked, what theme would it have and why?
JJ: Looking around right now, my work area has a number of framed prints and photographs, all with black frames and white matts. It’s a great contrast against my white desk. I’m a minimalist at heart, and love to surround myself with colorful art as the focus for neutral furnishings.FF: What advice and tips would you give to young artists?
JJ: Most of the artists I know thrive by experimenting; researching different concepts, techniques and influences. But most importantly, get out and see as much art as possible, visit galleries and museums, attend lectures, and talk to other artists.FF: How many visitors do you expect at this year's Fair? Tell us why Seattle-based residents and out-of-towners should visit this year's Fair.
JJ: We anticipate about 9,000 people at this first year’s Fair. I hope both Seattlites and out-of-towners come and see what we’re all about. Art Fairs are a fantastic way to see what is relevant and current in the art world, a chance to see work by local, national and international artists. Perhaps you’ll find something you fall in love with and take home. Most of all, I hope you’ll come and have fun!
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