Returning to NRG Center (formerly Reliant Center)
The globally driven 4th annual Houston Fine Art Fair will expand in 2014 to the largest entertainment center in Texas, the spectacular NRG Center, which served as the popular site of the 2012 edition. This 350 acre entertainment complex, consisting of NRG Center, NRG Area, NRG Stadium and NRG Astrodome, hosts an amazing 750 events annually, including many of the most popular sports, concert, consumer/family/trade shows in the state of Texas. Among these are the Houston Livestock Show + Rodeo, Grand Prix of Houston, Offshore Technology Conference and the Nutcracker Market. It is home to the hugely popular NFL’s Houston Texans and the University of Houston football program.
What to Expect in 2014
HFAF aspires to reflect Houston’s sophisticated and diverse collecting practices, where art enthusiasts will encounter an international cross-section of works in all media-from past to present. The fair will feature modern and contemporary masters, mid-career and emerging artists from around the globe. HFAF also features memorable on-site installations and special projects, plus an invigorating three day program (September 18-21) of panel discussions designed for both novice and experienced collectors.
The South’s Leading Art Fair (Excluding Miami)
In just three years, HFAF has established itself as the premiere art fair in the South (outside of Miami). In 2013, the fair attracted by far, the largest turnout of fairgoers than any other fair in the southern region (12,000 attendees). HFAF also presented the largest number of respected galleries (80), and the most international dealers (from 10 countries) and generated millions of dollars in art sales). HFAF press coverage is unmatched, as opening night was covered by the local affiliates of all 4 TV networks.
Attendance to Hit High Gear in 2014 with Cross-Promotions & Expanded Outreach
With co-promotion, co-branding and co-marketing from many Reliant Center based and simultaneously run events, HFAF is poised to continue its steady three year growth in attendance, exhibit space and art transactions generated for participating galleries. With marketing and promotional efforts also earmarked to include the affluent suburbs of Houston such as Sugar Land, Katy, Kingwood and The Woodlands, attendance is expected to far exceed its record 13,500 in 2013.
Fair organizer and CEO of Hamptons Expo Group, Rick Friedman, said “I’m very pleased our pioneering efforts throughout the greater Houston region in 2013 generated thousands of affluent young professionals who discovered the thrill of searching for and acquiring fine art for the first time,” said Executive director and CEO of HEG Shows Rick Friedman. “This large contingent, coupled with the city’s recruitment of business executives wanting to participate in the visual arts, created a tsunami of enthusiastic new collectors. The results are stunning with millions of dollars in art sales and a much expanded pool of art lovers who will actively embrace art collecting moving forward.”
City of Houston & Cultural Partners Help Drive Collectors to The Fair
The 2013 edition received unprecedented support from the City of Houston and the local arts community. HFAF was endorsed by the mayor’s office, with Mayor Annise Parker’s press conference kicking off the Fair. Other important players that endorsed the fair included a stellar host committee as well as full support from the Houston Arts Alliance, whose Opening Night Sneak Preview benefit generated a record 3,300 business attired art lovers. The fair attracted strong museum and cultural institutional support throughout the southwest region. This included a record setting 65 Cultural Partners who helped in programming and brought important art collectors to the Fair.
A Globally Driven Fair for an International City
HFAF 2014, as it did in 2013, will continue showcasing the finest in contemporary art from all corners of the world including the Americas, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. In 2013, HFAF showcased a record 85 renowned galleries from 14 countries. In efforts to design an international event for a sophisticated multi-cultural city, nearly half the exhibitors were from outside of America. In keeping with the Houston’s cosmopolitan collector tastes and context, the 2014 edition will again span the globe to recruit and showcase vibrant cross cultural contemporary art genres.
Fueling Art Sales by Integrating Major Corporate Participation
According to HAA president Jonathan Glus, “The Arts Alliance appreciates the generosity of Houston Fine Art Fair as a launch sponsor of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Houston. The relationship between arts philanthropy and corporate philanthropy is quite strong in Houston. HFAF’s generosity will help further that relationship to support Houston’s vibrant art community.”
Houston Welcomes Show Exhibitors
According to Ramon Cernuda from Miami’s Cernuda Gallery, “We have participated in the fair since it’s launch three years ago and I have been impressed by the quality of work and the organization of the fair. Houston is an important market for modern and contemporary art.”
Local Houston gallerist Devin Borden said, “This year’s impressive international exhibitor component was very exciting with an accompanying strong presence of affluent international buyers.”
Pyo Mi-Sun of Pyo Gallery from Seoul, Korea said “The collectors in Houston were very excited to see the work from the Korean galleries. This is the beginning of a very promising relationship and fertile market for work from my country.” Pyo was one of 14 Korean galleries exhibiting at the fair in an extensive section curated by the Galleries Association of Korea.
Discover why Houston is the third largest art buying market in America
With 150 museums, world-class cultural institutions, a booming economy powered by the energy sector, a thriving gallery scene , Houston is alive with vitality and creative energy and has the financial prowess to support it. The city boasts a sizable and influential base of serious art collectors and patrons, making it an ideal and untapped art fair destination. Houston currently is the fourth largest city population in America, challenging Chicago for the third spot. The Bayou City has a diverse, young and growing population. According to Forbes, Houston has, for the past two years, the fastest growing numbers of millionaires in the USA. These newly affluent professionals are involved in the visual arts and are highly art inquisitive. HFAF will build on the city’s solid bedrock of art sophistication and curiosity.