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Best Art Shows in the United States

Posted by | March 23, 2013 | Fine Art | 2 Comments

Over the years, I have discovered some of the best art festivals in the world are right here in the good old United States. Ten years earlier, I remember being in the Bellagio and looking at the Ploughman. It was the glow that got me. Yes, it glows! It was my first Van Gogh, and standing there, staring into that brilliant, shimmering, priceless wheat field, I was hooked. Art books, prints and digital imagery would suffice no longer. I knew at that moment that I could never again be a passive observer of fine art. I had to see it in person.

Now, travelling to Europe to see the original French and Italian masters is a character building experience to be sure, but for those of us with the genuine, perpetual thirst for that “Ploughman” moment, these festivals are the ticket. Some on the inside of the industry claim that as little as 1% of all festival goers are out to actually purchase artwork. The NEA tells us that 40% of all US art festivals have attendances of over 10,000 people, with 10% of that being above 100,000. What’s 1% of 100,000? A lot of art buyers – especially considering that most festival goers are higher income earners.
What’s the point here? All of those buyers are lining up, the artists are lining up – and that means more potential Ploughmen. If you’re ready, here’s a bucket list of the best, top annual art festivals of the past ten years.

La Quinta Arts Festival – California
Ranked first in the nation by the ArtFair Sourcebook, the La Quinta Arts Festival is the pride of the West Coast Art Scene. According to its website, over 1,000 artists compete for display space every year, putting forth their best work to qualify for an invitation to show. In addition to the artists, folk music entertainers, high-end restaurateurs (including Ruth’s Chris) and craft beer and wine makers are invited to enhance the experience.

Artfest 2013 – Minot, ND
Off the beaten path is Minot, North Dakota, host to the Taube Museum, the finest contemporary art museum in the region. 2013’s two-day festival is themed around the work of Andy Warhol.
The Best Art Festivals Across America In addition to a regional artist’s premier night, there will also be an interactive children’s event – a babysitter in disguise – to allow the adults freedom to browse and purchase.

The Armory Show – New York
For the past 13 years, the Armory Show has been the leading fine arts festival in the American art capital of NYC. Held in the spring of each year, the Armory Show attracts artists and patrons from all corners of the globe, displaying the best and most progressive examples of contemporary art available. If contemporary is your thing, and you go to just one festival in your lifetime, make this the one. If you’re not sold, check out the Armory Show’s 2013 time-lapse video.

Scope Art Show
There was a shuttle service running back and forth from the Armory Show to the Scope Art Show, which should tell you something about the quality of this show. Bottom line: the SCOPE Art Show attracts artists. It has sold over $300 million worth of art and attendance numbers have reached as high as 250,000. Dozens of artists offer coordinated showings in Miami, Basel, New York and London. The Hamptons have created a critically acclaimed platform for emerging international contemporary artists, many of whom are debuting on the national art stage. This one is a must.
Guest Author: Lorena Starkey lives and works in beautiful Minot, ND where she is surrounded by art, both in nature and in imagination. Say hello to her at the Minot Hyatt House or stop by her Google+ profile.


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