All photos in this article - E. Brady Robinson, copyright 2014
(e)merge art fair | October 2 – 5, 2014
By E. BRADY ROBINSON, OCT. 2014
The 4th edition of Emerge Art Fair opened Thursday, Oct. 2nd at Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC and featured an international roster of 85 exhibitors presenting works by 150 artists from 30 countries. Dedicated to international emerging art, organized by Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith, co-founders of CONNERSMITH. Don and Mera Rubell hosted the fair; Miami based mega art collectors and owners of the Capitol Skyline Hotel. Ai WeiWei was among the selection committee for the fair. The Washington Post was the presenting sponsor of the fair this year.
(e)merge is a multi-platform art fair and featured emerging artists and galleries showcasing emergent art. The fair was located at the original Morris Lapidus designed Capitol Skyline Hotel. The hotel provided a cool hip vibe for fair visitors. Galleries representing international emerging art were featured in guest rooms on three levels inside the hotel and throughout the hotel’s grounds and public spaces. The Olympic size pool and unique social spaces of the hotel were utilized by unrepresented artists and provided a platform for performance art, large scale installations, panel discussions and opening night concert.
Capitol Skyline Hotel is located within blocks from the National Mall, home of renowned cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and many Smithsonian museums. The hotel is also located across the street from the future site of a Rubell owned hotel/museum in DC. With the endorsement of the Rubells combined with the brain trust of CONNERSMITH, the fair was able to garner blue chip galleries, dealers and collectors who might have previously overlooked DC as site of emerging art market.
(e)merge takes inspiration from other hotel fairs such as Gramercy Park, the Times Square Show and Ritz Hotel Exhibition, all fairs who have introduced the careers of young galleries and artists to established and new collectors. The fair was a response to the need of providing additional exposure for emerging artists combined with meeting the resurgent appetite for emerging art from collectors. WM
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E. Brady Robinson is a Washington DC based writer/photographer.