8 Reasons to Attend the BAIA Fine Art Show This Weekend

By Shantay Robinson 

While collectors will find an array of art to explore, collectors aren’t the only people who will benefit from attending Black Art in America’s Fine Art Show in Philadelphia at the Belmont Mansion this upcoming weekend of September 14 -16. Curators, art critics, and other art world professionals are sure to find the weekend filled with opportunity for growth, as well.  

#1 Discover new artists to add to personal and institutional collections. 

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(left) Artist Steven Tette

For curators, museum and gallery administrators, and art critics the possibility of finding that next breakout star of the art world is multiplied in this space. Museums and art galleries are always looking for new artists who are making strides in the art world. Attending the BAIA Fine Art Show is a great way to add new artists to collections. At the BAIA Fine Art Show, you’ll have the opportunity to view the work of artists from around the world. With the work of so many artists in one space, the chance for discovering the next hot artist increases. As many of the artists in the show are stars in their own right, exposure to the mainstream could change the trajectory of their careers.

#2 Develop relationships with gallery owners and dealers.

In order to stay abreast of the latest happenings in the art world, developing relationships with gallery owners and dealers is an initial first step for curators, art critics, and other art world professionals. While signing up for the mailing list might get you privy to the latest exhibitions and artists, having a conversation with gallery owners will allow you both to exchange ideas and 

determine how you may be able to work together. Getting to know gallery owners and dealers will also gain curators and art critics access to artists they may otherwise not have had access to. The BAIA Fine Art show is a great way to exchange business cards with these art world professionals to contact for future business.

#3 Get introduced to artists, have a conversation, and find out what inspires them.

Getting to know artists is important because their experiences are what shape their artwork and what makes their work relevant and valuable. Any opportunity to get to know an artist will make relevant for viewers the work that he or she does. Learning about their technique and subject matter is also valuable when making comparisons to other artists or thinking about how to group artists in shows.  So, meeting and talking with artists is helpful in developing collections further. There will be several artists on hand at the BAIA Fine Art Show and they are eager to meet curators and art critics with whom they can share their work and experience.

#4 Have an opportunity to meet other art world professionals.

Kimberly Camp

The BAIA Fine Art Show is a great time to come in contact with some of the world’s most important curators. While a majority of the attendees at the BAIA Fine Art Show will be there to purchase art, there will be a select group of people there planning their upcoming exhibitions with the artwork at the show. Over the course of the weekend, there will be so much opportunity to converse with the other attendees, some of whom are sure to be art world professionals. This is a great opportunity to expand social networks and get to know other art world professionals from around the world with the possibility of working together in the future or simply keeping one another abreast of art world happenings. Regardless of how you use your new contacts developing relationships at the  BAIA Fine Art Show is a real possibility with tangible results.

#5 Document the event.

Although an undocumented event can live in the hearts and minds of the people, documentation of the event allows it to live in the annals of history. Throughout the weekend, there will be many conversations between individuals that will be worthy of documentation. Reportage of the event will better serve, not only the attending public, but also the planners of the event by insight provided through documentation. So much history is lost because there isn’t any documentation of the events that happened. If we want to create a legacy, we have to document it for the future. Art writing is important if we want the future to know that they are building on a strong foundation of artistic heritage.

#6 Rub shoulders with the who’s who in the art world.

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Faron Manuel

The #BAIAPhilly Ambassadors are influential in the art world. Meeting and getting to know them could impact your inner circle and expand your reach as an art influencer. The ambassadors include: Danny Simmons, the founder and Vice Chairman of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation; Faron Manuel the coordinator of the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship and the Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Object-Centered Curatorial Research at the High Museum of Art; Heike Rass, a strategic consultant and innovative visual art promoter with a particular focus on underrepresented artists, arts organizations and projects; and Esther Silver-Parker  is president and CEO of The Silver Parker Group, a consultancy specializing in corporate responsibility and reputation, stakeholder relationship management and leadership development. 

#7 Learn from the seminar leaders.

Sammetria Goodson

There is a lot to learn about the art world. Everyone doesn’t know everything and isn’t expected to. But learning as much as you can, is possible through the BAIA Talks that will occur on Saturday and Sunday. Learn what really happened to the Barnes Foundation from Kimberly Camp who led the foundation for seven years and from Sammetria Goodson Temple law alum and practicing art law attorney. Not only will these talks enlighten listeners about the Barnes Foundation, but they might provide insight on your collections that might be in similar situations. The seminars are also an opportunity to ask these industry insiders about issues that interest you about your own institutions.


#8 Have access to art of hundreds of black artists from around the world.

Danny Simmons

There aren’t many opportunities to have artworks of some of the greatest black contemporary and legacy artists in one room at the same time. Having this access to a variety of art is sure to afford collectors the chance to grow an art collection the way they want. Whether it be through subject matter, artist, or style. But for art world professionals, just knowing what all is out there is valuable. There are so many artworks to look at, so many subjects to consider, and so many artists to discover. And you can do it all in one place during one weekend.

Follow the event at #baiaPHILLY on Facebook and Instagram

featuring artwork by Jurell Cayetano, Karen Powell, Woodrow Nash, Charles White, Romare Bearden, Nelson Stevens, David Driskell, Najee Dorsey, Lavett Ballard, Richard Barthe and Jamaal Barber