The premiere of the Hamptons Fine Art Fair (HFAF) from September 2 to 5 attracted more than 5,000 art enthusiasts who perused the four art-filled structures on the grounds of event co-producer, Southampton Arts Center (SAC), on Jobs Lane. In addition to the historic building, first built by Samuel Parrish for his art collection, the fair also augmented the exhibit space by constructing three pavilions (de Kooning, Pollock and a VIP lounge) and an outdoor sculpture park featuring 30 significant works. A portion of proceeds from the fair benefitted SAC and its mission of community building through the arts.
HFAF founder and producer Rick Friedman reimagined his previous art fair, ArtHamptons, which he sold to a London-based organizer after 10 years on the East End. He notes this new art fair venture serves a higher end, upscale sector of the Hamptons art-buying region. It’s debut over Labor Day weekend presented an important opportunity as many homeowners recently relocated to the area during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a tightly curated selection of important 20th and 21st century art for their estates.
“It was an honor to team up with Southampton Arts Center,” Friedman said. “Together, we created the perfect setting for our guests to have an exhilarating art acquisition experience. The fair was the right size, easy to view and comprehend, allowing guests to have meaningful discussions with dealers in an elegant, relaxed setting. We provided a wide selection of genres, media, and periods, from Rembrandt to Kaws. There was a strong burning, pent up interest for such a local in-person art fair and I am pleased that so many fellow Hamptonites responded so favorably.”
“Southampton Arts Center is committed to community building through the arts,” added Tom Dunn, SAC’s executive director. “As an anchor of Southampton’s thriving cultural district, I am gratified to see this nationally-ranked fine art fair serve as a driver to our local economy. It was a true celebration of Southampton’s recent explosion in the arts scene, which is home to esteemed art galleries, auction houses, fellow cultural nonprofits, and private museums — all serving our beloved community.”
The fair presented 50 physical galleries from across the globe and is also the first and only art fair in the nation to present both in-person and online with a 3D virtual reality version for worldwide viewership, bringing a total of 70 galleries to audiences. This unique approach will be on view through November 30. Artwork began at $10,000, with some pieces exceeding $1 million. Four hundred artists were represented with more than $100 million in art available for immediate acquisition.
The event also featured panel discussions with distinguished speakers. Renowned musicians performed at SAC’s entrance and on the outdoor stage, docents led fair tours with complimentary wine, and food trucks served lunch and dinner al fresco. On September 3, Dr. Harvey Manes of Westhampton Beach was recognized as the 2021 Art Collector of the Year. On September 4, East Hampton-based artist, Audrey Flack, 90, was presented with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.