Laura and I have returned from ArtDC - Washington, DC's first large scale international contemporary art gallery fair. It was also our first gallery fair as exhibitors - fair virgins, if you will. It has taken a number of days to recover and digest all that we experienced and learned. Bottom line...... ArtDC was a great one for us. It helped put Migration: A Gallery on the map.
First and foremost, it was important to us - as a new gallery - to be on this stage shared by a number of very large names in the art and gallery world. It was a prime opportunity to prove that the artists we represent are of the highest quality. We took the work of Brian Mallman (drawing on board), Joachim Knill (large format Polaroid photography), Alan Dehmer (gum bichromate photography), Arturo Mallmann (painting), Peter Filene (double exposure photography), Randall Stoltzfus (painting), Chris Mason (painting), and Tod Pardon (brooches). The work by each artist was very well received. We were proud. You can see their work at our website.
Laura and I also made a number of impotant contacts with the Washington, DC art crowd. Not just patrons, but also other gallerists and some of the area's non-profits. The word we most often heard was, "Gosh, I never knew there was good art in Charlottesville. I'll have to visit." Please do.
I also want to thank Lenny Campello for spending quite a bit of his time with us during his wanderings through the fair, and for his nice mention of us (and Joachim Knill) in his blog (see here)
As far as my general impression of the fair..... I was very impressed with virtually all aspects of it. I got to talk to many attendees - most of whom were very pleased that DC is finally producing a fair like this and supporting contemporary art and commercial galleries. I also believe the level of the art shown was high quality - not too many peaks and valleys. There is no doubt that next year will simply be bigger and even better. I was also impressed at how hard all the behind the scenes people worked to get the Convention Center ready to host a high end art show.
My only complaint was that I don't feel members of the ArtDC Host Committee, the area's museum curators, or the high end collectors (i.e movers and shakers) made their presence felt throughout the exhibition hall. Maybe I simply missed them when they came by.
All in all, ArtDC was a great one for us. We'll be back next year.
PS..... Many thanks to Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Erwin Timmers (from the Washington Glass School) for befriending Laura and me and keeping us entertained throughout the 5 days of the show.