If you ask the artists, they’ll tell you that there is a difference between vendors who sell prints at outdoor fairs and those who show at fine arts shows. The Harlem Fine Arts Show, which opened Thursday night at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, for example, offers a stellar space for artists to display one-of-a-kind, mixed media pieces for an audience serious about collecting. There were sculptures, pottery, masks, clothing, pieces made with 24-karat gold paint and even art that was meant to be seen with 3-D glasses.
The Thursday night opening event included about 500 of the city’s black power elite, including Linda Johnson Rice and Desiree Rogers, the artist Andre Guichard (who has a booth present) and longtime Chicago newsman Art Norman. Pieces were priced fromthe $800 range and upto $10,000 and above.
The art fair, which began in 2010, also made stops in New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. It runs throughNov. 2at the Merchandise Mart (on the 8th floor if you go) and there will be seminars about collecting, special discussions for students and a jazz brunch to kick off things on Sunday. Participants sayit is the largest show of its kind in the United States. Below, find a few pieces that caught my eye.