FYA 4 Art Platform: Tips for Navigating an Art Fair

ForYourArt 4 Art Platform – Los Angeles

A special series in partnership with Art Platform – Los Angeles

Tips for Successfully Navigating an Art Fair

Stalls filled with artwork can get overwhelming, so come prepared.


By mapping out where your ‘must-see’ galleries are ahead of time, you’ll already have an idea of all the places you want to hit when you walk in the door. Additionally, glancing at the list of galleries beforehand might even prompt some initial research into galleries you haven’t heard of, like checking out their artist rosters and mission statements.  Somehow it’s easier to  stumble on new galleries when you have a destination in mind.


This isn’t a race. Make sure you do a complete lap before making any decisions. Compare works you like (you can even get a sense of what’s trending in the market by assessing what galleries are showing). If you find that after you’ve walked away from a particular piece, you just can’t live without it, ask to put it on hold until you have seen the entire fair. Others, you forget about after the next stall.


Ask about the artists.  Look at images of their other work. Ask if they have made any books. Galleries love sharing info and anecdotes about who they represent.


Art fairs also host interesting talks and lectures. Some fairs like Art Platform – Los Angeles offer docent tours with background information on galleries and even specialized topics like tips on collecting. Other fairs feature artists, curators, and art advisors on their panels.

by Alexis M. Johnson 

Art Platform – Los Angeles 2011, courtesy of Art Platform