Art Shows Head South to Boca in 2016


Ah Boca Raton.  The shopping the beaches, the shopping…the art?  Yes indeed, Boca Raton’s cultural scene is about to get a jolt with the addition of two major art shows.

Art fair organizer David Lester plans to offer the American International Fine Art Fair on Jan 28-Feb 7 , 2106 at two weekend format.  Expect paintings, sculptures, drawings and 20th century design. In addition Art Boca Raton will take place March 17-21, 2016.  This is a Boca Raton versions of Lester’s Art Palm Beach, featuring contemporary, modern and emerging sculpture and photography.

Lester would not yet reveal the location of the fair.  But he spoke enthusiastically about the market, as well as the fair’s partnership with the Boca Museum of Art.  Lester believes Boca Raton is the perfect location for his art shows which feature high-end dealers selling art for thousands or millions of dollars.  “It;s a lot of new money, younger money,” Lester said.  “It means aspirational money.” Put another way, it’s the type of money that likes to buy and showcase important, and pricey, artwork.

Last month Lester’s Palm Beach International Fine Art & Antique Fair bowed out after 18 years of shows in West Palm Beach.  The decline in the antique market, plus failed joint with venture with a Dutch firm, were among the reasons for the last-minute cancellation. That left the newer, successful Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show as the only show of its kind at the Palm Beach Convention Center last month. This year the show has had more vendors than ever before.

Lester used to hold his Palm Beach Fine Art Show in decorated tents in downtown West Palm Beach.  When the convention center opened, the show moved there, but Lester said the venue is too big. “I didn’t need thousands of people, I needed hundreds of people.”  The right people, as Lester might say.  He’s not interested in the great unwashed.

So dealer size at the Boca Raton shows will range from 60 to 70, to assure quality and exclusivity.  Lester hopes to draw buyers from wealthy enclaves in Broward and Miami-dade counties, as well as buyers in Palm Beach County.  he also hopes dealers that pay heavy fees to ship art to fairs, will be persuaded to stay four months in Palm Beach County, hitting his Concept Art Fair in Miami in December, Art Palm Beach in West Palm Beach in January, and then Boca Raton Shows in February and March.

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