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Inaugural Palm Springs Fine Art Fair to contemporary art to America's mid-century cultural capital
Richard Misrach, Plate 33, Ocotillo 1 (1975), vintage split-toned gelatin silver print, 14 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches, Courtesy Etherton Gallery.

PALM SPRINGS, CA.- Hampton Expo Group announces the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, a sparkling new addition to its growing family of art fairs, February 17-19, 2012, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Featuring more than fifty top international art galleries exhibiting more than 2,000 carefully-culled works of post-war and contemporary art, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair appeals to the sophisticated collector and casual fan alike. Punctuated by an Opening Preview Party on February 16, 2012, as well as an exquisite program of special events and exhibitions throughout the run of the show, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair is a Presidents Day weekend retreat for art lovers near and far.

Palm Springs has long been a hidden gem of post-war art and culture. Located in the American Southwest's stunning Sonoran Desert, just two hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a warm winter cultural oasis, boasting the highly regarded Palm Springs Art Museum, a thriving scene of more than 60 art galleries, and some of the nation's most treasured Modernist architectural gems. Peter Marcelle, Director of Gerald Peters Gallery, explains the appeal of launching an art fair in the region: "The local art patrons and collectors are very well-informed, and yet this is an art fair that sits squarely between the Southwest's major metropolitan regions--L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. With Palm Spring's fabled sunny weather and an international airport just minutes away, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair presents the ideal winter getaway for art lovers the world over."

Despite celebrating its inaugural year, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair can hardly be classified as an art world start-up. Founded by the Hamptons Expo Group (directors of the noted and successful Houston Fine Art, SF Fine Art Fair, ArtAspen and ArtHamptons), the fair boasts an acclaimed roster of international exhibitors and an exceptional Advisory Board of regional and national art dealers, including: Douglas Christmas, ACE Gallery (Los Angeles/Beverly Hills, CA); David Eichholtz, David Richard Contemporary (Santa Fe, NM); Terry Etherton, Etherton Gallery (Tucson, AZ); Peter Marcelle, Gerald Peters Gallery (New York City/Santa Fe, NM); James Carona, Heather James Fine Art (Palm Desert, CA); Leisa Austin, Imago Galleries (Palm Desert, CA); and William Shearburn, William Shearburn Gallery (St. Louis, MO/Santa Fe, NM).

The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair opens in grand fashion with the Opening Preview Benefit party, February 16, 2012. The party offers art aficionados the first opportunity to acquire the important works of art for sale at the fair, while enjoying cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and lively conversation with fellow art fans, collectors and art world luminaries.

In addition to the exceptional work on view from participating exhibitors, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair will present a series of special events and exhibitions throughout the weekend:

The Big Picture, Paintings from Southern California,1960 -1980
L.A. based art critic/curator Peter Frank, curates a four day, high impact historical exhibition of approximately 60 definitive and pioneering works from the L.A. art movement from 1960 - 1980. Officially sanctioned by the Getty Museum as a Pacific Standard Time Initiative Point of Interest, the exhibition will feature works culled from the inventories of exhibiting galleries.

Judy Chicago, Lifetime Achievement Award and Material Girl Exhibition
The annual Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honors an artist and arts patron who has long pioneered in the field, making remarkable contributions to the world of art and the region. This year's inaugural honoree is Judy Chicago. In conjunction with the award, David Richard Contemporary of Santa Fe, who represents Chicago, will present Judy Chicago, Material Girl, highlighting the artist's 50 year art making practice, featuring work in acrylics, needlework, paper and glass. Judy Chicago will be in attendance on Opening Night.

Palm Springs Collectors Forum
The Palm Springs Collectors Forum is designed to provide entertaining and in-depth insights into hot art world topics. Curated by Steven Biller (Editor. Palm Springs Life) and art critic/curator Peter Frank, these daily one-hour panel discussions, lectures, films and interviews feature leading experts from around the country, including curators, critics, collectors and artists.

2012 PSFAF Arts Patron of the Year Award: Cheech Marin Actor, director, and performer Cheech Marin has developed one of the finest private collections of Chicano art in the United States. He states, "Chicano art is American art. My goal is to bring the term 'Chicano' to the forefront of the art world." As recipient of the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair's 2012 Arts Patron of the Year Award, Marin will reveal select works from his personal collection within the context of The Big Picture exhibition.

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