Back in 2019, before ish really hit the fan, Seattle Art Fair delighted (and befuddled) us with a Bubble Boy–esque earthquake simulator and a performance artist who smashed her face into bread. And lots and lots of art. Since then, founding partner Vulcan shuttered its arts and entertainment division and, oh yeah, something called Covid basically nixed in-person events for two years.
What a setting for a triumphant return. Art Market Productions, a partner since the fair's inaugural year of 2015, is now the sole organizer, bringing Seattle Art Fair back, July 21–24, at Lumen Field Event Center.
This sixth iteration of the fair welcomes 85 local, national, and international galleries, including many Seattle-area favorites and those as far away as Argentina, Seoul, and Switzerland. Pieces span a range of styles and mediums: gravity-defying glass swooshes from Tokyo, joyous floral paintings from London, an acrylic depiction of a crushed Starbucks cup from (where else) Seattle.
Although the point of Seattle Art Fair is to connect galleries, artists, and collectors, AMP isn't abandoning previous efforts to incorporate public art installations throughout the exhibition floor: Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid's stark This World is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too portrays the tenuous innocence of children in the face of violence with a wooden swing and a pair of blood-stained shoes. Queer and transgender Northwest artist Clyde Petersen reflects on their life via recycled cardboard fashioned into tree rings in As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined. And elsewhere will be works from the likes of Inye Wokoma of Wa Na Wari, Preston Singletary, and Pilchuck Glass School.
Of course, when you're an art lover at a fair all about art, you'll want to talk about art too. AMP is more than happy to deliver with a series of panels, book signings, and talks ranging from "Bridging the Digital and Physical," presented by (again who else) the Seattle NFT Museum, to a lecture by groundbreaking photographer and artist Carrie Mae Weems.
Single-day tickets run $25, but a $50 fair pass grants you access for the entire duration of the event, including the exclusive opening night on Thursday.