Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 08 2015

FLUX Art Fair Founder Leanne Stella’s Dedication to Community Has Put Harlem on the Art World Map

Deborah Oster Pannell

FLUX Fair with Frieze Art Fair, one of the main art world events in New York City. The coincidence of these two events was instrumental in putting Harlem on the art world map this past May, drawing visitors uptown to see the broad range of work being exhibited at “the other fair,” and garnering local, national and international press in the process.

As a curator driven event, FLUX Fair had a welcoming atmosphere, without the high- pressure sales environment typical of the downtown fairs. The ground-floor location allowed passers-by to glimpse work through the floor to ceiling windows. Low ticket prices as well as invitations to school groups furthered the accessibility factor, and many of the artists were present throughout the exhibition, interacting directly with visitors during multiple curated tours as well as informally throughout the days.

FLUX Art Fair 2016 will again coincide with Frieze Art Fair commencing on May 3rd, 2016. Building on the friendly atmosphere and the direct connection many visitors felt with the art itself, this year’s fair will be a month-long, outdoor event comprised entirely of public works installed in Marcus Garvey Park, also in the heart of Harlem. This 20-acre gem stretching from 120th St. to 124th St. between Lenox and Madison Avenues, is one of Manhattan’s oldest public squares. Proposals for large-scale sculptures and other installations in response to the curatorial theme, “Changing Landscapes” are being accepted until December 31st.

In drawing on the direct connection to art as a source of community vitality, Leanne Stella has expanded the notion of interactivity beyond the walls of any one building, to encompass the public space that is the ground of the community itself. What kind of endless inspiration can we derive from this towards a broadened vision for our own events?

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