Art Palm Beach ended last week with the organizers getting an earful from attendees. The Lesters claim record attendance of 20,000 and lots of art being sold under $50k. But fairgoers complained that the best galleries hadn’t taken booths and too many of the others were double-dipping with the Lesters’ other fair, the Miami International Art Fair. Here’s what the Palm Beach Daily News had to say:
“We have a lot to learn,” David Lester said. “We’re not doing it the same old way.” As he sees it, he and his wife are reinventing the fair to keep up with changing market conditions. They plan to lure the next generation of collectors with fresh galleries from around the world selling art at affordable prices. Seasoned collectors were underwhelmed. Palm Beach collector Dale Anderson praised the revamped layout, the strong lecture series and Colombian artist Federico Uribe’s sprawling sneaker-parts installation at the rear of the fair. But “it was an awful lot of icing and very little cake,” she said.
Many good dealers that exhibited in the past weren’t there, West Palm Beach collector Elayne Mordes said. […] Palm Beach collector Ted Baum complained that Art Palm Beach was too much like the Lesters’ Miami International Art Fair, which ended two days before the Palm Beach fair began. About 31 of the fair’s 71 dealers exhibited at both shows. “That’s a turn off, because I came expecting to see fresh work,” Baum said. “I was in and out in an hour.” Fewer than 4 percent of attendees went to both fairs, Lester said. But to minimize repetition he’ll ask dealers who do both shows to exhibit different work at each.