Q&A with Jennifer Jacobs of Affordable Art Fair
Everybody can be an art collector. That’s the idea behind the Affordable Art Fair, which this month brings diverse works from 50 local, national and international galleries for a four-day art extravaganza. The event showcases original, contemporary art priced from $100 to $10,000, showing global stars such as Damien Hirst alongside emerging local artists. Seattle Fair Director Jennifer Jacobs spoke to City Arts about how the fair works.
The Affordable Art Fair was started in London. How many have there been, and where?
They’ve been going in London since 1999 and started in the U.S. in 2007. There are currently 17 Affordable Art Fairs all around the world in 15 different cities.
Why did Seattle get added to the list?
It’s always been a puzzle to me why we didn’t have a great art fair in the Northwest. It’s such a hot point of activity. People are very aesthetically minded. There’s definitely a wealth of collectors here, but there are also a lot of young people who are interested in art, people who aren’t necessarily part of the monthly gallery scene. The art fair offers a sense of what’s out there, not only in the region, but what’s current in ideas and trends throughout the world.
How does the fair cultivate art collectors?
We’re going to have tours where people can ask questions: What do you need to know when you’re buying a photograph versus a painting? What is an edition? How are works priced? Part of our mission is to answer those questions. Hopefully it has a ripple effect—and maybe people begin to go to First Thursday, begin to look at following an artist’s career.
We also have a number of emerging galleries in the program. That’s a huge intervention in their business, to put themselves in front of 10,000 people. Immediately.
How many pieces do you expect to sell? What’s the average?
Every fair is different, but usually one in four people who show up at the fair ends up buying a piece of work.
Photo by Tyson Grumm.