Artexpo New York Embraces 'Art Is Everywhere 'Theme: New Exhibits, Seminars and Pavilions Promise for a Lively International Artexpo in New York in 2004

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Everyday, everywhere, art influences people's lives. It's a premise that show organizers at the 2004 International Artexpo New York promise to embrace through special events, seminars and show-floor displays that highlight art's appearance in everything from music and food to sports, architecture and nature.

This year's show, held Feb. 26 to March 1 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, will "highlight artistry in electronics with robotic art, artistry in the human form through sculpture and artistry right in the comforts of your home with interior design" said Joyce Jamison, Artexpo show director.

Art may he everywhere, but for more than a quarter century, attendees and exhibitors have found art in one place in particular: Artexpo New York. Last year, more than 42,000 art lovers, representing both trade and consumers, walked the show floor. Many also walked away with art purchases from the array of exhibitors who brought contemporary and traditional paintings, prints, posters, sculpture, photography, animation and decorative art created by nearly 2,500 artists to the show.

Excitement is already building about the inclusion of robotic art at the show, provided by Artbots, an international talent showcase for the emerging medium. "We want people to know this kind of work is important and interesting," said Douglas Repetto, founder and director of Artbots. He promises that the Artbots appearing at the show will be those that work well in large, chaotic venues. For instance, Neil, a six-foot-tall humanoid robot, conveys different emotional states through facial expressions, posture, physical gestures and sounds. The LEMUR project is a league of electronic robots that play instruments, some of which are interactive, and Babybott is a set of gigantic, personified baby bottles that cry, coo and move around depending on how they are treated.

Another exciting addition to this year's show is Tats Cru, a Bronx, N.Y.-based group that calls themselves "professional muralists, whose work in aerosol has changed the perception of graffiti as art" The group, which offers advertising and design services to businesses seeking to reach young, urban consumers and those looking to promote products and services in new ways, will be giving several live demonstrations of their work during the show. Clients have included Coca Cola USA, Firestone, The Bronx Museum of Arts and the Center for Children and Families.

Also new this year is a charity event to benefit ArtStart, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that works to provide high-quality arts education for children and adults. Since its founding in 1988, the group has initiated a number of projects and programs that focus on the connection between the arts and the environment.

Also returning to Artexpo are the pavilions, which showcase a wide variety of work in one genre, from a number of vendors, in one location on the show floor. Among them is the Animation Pavilion, which debuted at Artexpo 2003 to rave reviews. Calling last year's Animation Pavilion "awesome" and "wonderful pandemonium," Animazing Gallery owner Heidi Leigh said that the decision for those involved hl cartoon and comic art to exhibit together benefited them all. "I think that the united front that the animation industry presented created a lot of excitement and synergy," she said.

Other pavilions "also promise to excite. Returning this year after a successful premier at International Artexpo 2003 is a pavilion featuring contemporary African-American artwork, brought to the show by the California-based national touring company Art on Tour, which was founded by well-known artist Charles Bibbs.

At a new pavilion, an area of the show floor will now be devoted to the work of artists without representation. In the SOLO: Independent Artists Pavilion, independent artists will have an effective way to present their work to a large audience of dealers and collectors, among their peers in a gallery-like space. …