July 21, 2010. Dealers and galleries at the second annual SOFA WEST: Santa Fe 2010 held July 8-11 at the Santa Fe Convention Center reported steady sales, most to new clients from all over the United States. Overall fair attendance climbed to 12,000 from 10,000 persons last year. An estimated 1800 persons attended Opening Night on July 7, which was a special member preview for the prestigious Museum of New Mexico Foundation and SOFA VIPs.
Mark Lyman, President of The Art Fair Company and Founder/ Director of SOFA fairs, which are also held annually in Chicago and New York, says, “Our second year in Santa Fe was right on track! Sales were definitely on the rise. And dealers across the board reported a more qualified audience-important local art collectors were seen at the fair as well as noted buyers from out-of-town, and more museum curators and directors.”
Renowned specialist in contemporary Japanese art, Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd. of Manhattan, New York, new to SOFA WEST this year, says, “I’m thrilled at the level of aesthetic sophistication” of attendees, which she noted was on a par with collectors at New York’s venerable Asian Art Fair. Mirviss continues, “Even those who had never seen this work before, knew what they were looking at and some audibly gasped.” Mirviss reported steady sales-most to new clients-and that collector attendance at the fair “from both Coasts” was very strong. By 7:30 pm Opening Night she had decided she would return as an exhibitor next year.
Renowned scholar, dealer and author, Garth Clark, who with his partner, Mark Del Vecchio owned prestigious ceramic galleries in New York and Los Angeles for many years, exhibited in SOFA WEST for the second year as CLARK + DELVECCHIO of Santa Fe. Clark says, “This show is a 50% improvement from last year. The quality has shot up dramatically, and that is a really good thing. We have made sales, new client contacts, and the show has gone really well. If SOFA WEST keeps growing like this from year to year, Santa Fe is going to become a key market for this kind of artwork, which it has not been in the past. Plus, every square inch of printed matter, especially in the past two weeks, has been plastered with SOFA coverage and images; they have done a really great job with their PR and marketing, getting people here to see the show.”
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