Perfect Location, Perfect Timing

Article excerpt

Attendees and exhibitors gear up for this month's Artexpo California show at the Concourse Exhibition Center

SAN FRANCISCO--International Artexpo California comes to San Francisco this Nov. 2-5, bringing with it hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees who will descend on the City by the Bay for four days of buying and selling, networking and learning. The show promises to bring art dealers, gallery owners, interior designers and private collectors together with publishers, artists, artist representatives and other art business entrepreneurs for a fair that will preview new works, cutting-edge techniques, and the products and services that help art businesses thrive.

With the highest concentration of art trade buyers in the United States outside of New York, San Francisco was the logical choice for the place on the West Coast where art purchasers and sellers should meet, according to Show Director Wendy Jones. San Francisco not only has a booming local economy sparked by dot-com startups, but it also represents one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, offering much to do and see for both exhibitors and attendees alike. "The city lends itself well to an art fair," said Jones.

So, too, does the show site: the Concourse Exhibition Center in the city's South of Market (SoMa) district. "SoMa is ground zero for the art and design community in San Francisco," said Jones. Indeed, the district, which was once a rough factory area, is now home to a loft-filled artist community that recalls its New York brethren, SoHo. The renowned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other museums, is also located in the area. Recently, the area has been referred to as Multimedia Gulch, thanks to the large numbers of high-tech businesses moving into the area. All of which, show personnel say, conspires to make for a great location for an international art exposition.

The timing of the show is also right, agree exhibitors and attendees, coming in the midst of the fevered fall season. For Arnold Quinn, c.e.o. of Arnold Quinn Studios, Artexpo California "falls at exactly the right time," he said. He plans to unveil and release seven sculptures at the show as part of The Mucha Sculpture Collection licensed to him by the family of Czechoslovakian artist Alphonse Mucha. Quinn said he hopes to find the remainder of the 50 "platinum" Mucha Collection dealers he plans to have worldwide during the show and to support them by his presence there.

Timing also enabled the show itself to capitalize on the excitement created during San Francisco's October-long Open Studio program, whereby local artists allowed the public to tour their workspaces, leading directly into the show's opening. …