This week, Washington will see the second consecutive installment of the (e)merge art fair. Still in its infancy, the fair is the city’s most recent serious attempt at a professional art fair. 

Last year’s fair, while not without its quirks, was largely seen as a success. The 2012 event boasts new additions and improvements, including more robust visitor food and drink options, and over 80 exhibitors showing 152 different artists.

As suggested by its name, the ethos of the fair leans slightly toward a younger, more experimental presence. (e)merge offers two platforms: artists show both with galleries and other organizations, but also individually, with artists showing their work independently of a gallery or organization. Last year WPA exhibited at the fair, displaying works by artist Mei Mei Chang and Kyan Bishop in addition to a flat file of over 120 WPA member artworks. This year, WPA will move the member artwork to the walls, displaying an assortment of members' 8 x 8 inch works on paper. Additionally, WPA will exhibit sculptural work by artist Jimmy Miracle. The fair’s combination of established artists and galleries combined with emerging artists compliments WPA’s mission of supporting artists at all stages of their careers.

Recently, WPA presented a related panel discussion with sponsor UBS Financial Services to called The Role of Art Fairs in Building a Contemporary Collection. During the talk, collector Daniel Levinas stated, “The reason I go to [art fairs]…I go because I discover new galleries, I discover new artists.” For Washington, (e)merge is one of the best, and newest, ways to discover and experience work by artists not just from the area, but from all over the world.

Christopher Cunetto, WPA’s Membership Manager said that he hopes to bring WPA member artwork to a wider audience: “I think this is a really great opportunity to showcase the variety of work our membership is making to an audience they wouldn’t reach in another way. For many artists, expanding an audience for the work they make is a really big challenge, so I hope this makes that process a little bit easier.”

WPA will exhibit at (e)merge this year in rooms 217 and 218. For more information on the (e)merge art fair, click here. Please contact WPA Program Director with questions at 202-234-7103 x 1 


October 4, 2012