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A New, Vetted Art Fair Focused on Emerging Artists and Galleries to Be Held in Washington
Leo Villareal, Sky, 2009, Light emitting diodes, Mac mini, circuitry, 3 x 8 feet. Photo: Conner Contemporary.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- (e)merge, a new, vetted art fair focused on emerging artists and galleries with emerging art, will launch September 22 - 25, 2011, at the Rubell Family’s modernist, Morris Lapidus-designed Capitol Skyline hotel in Washington, DC, adjacent to the site of the their future museum.

(e)merge will feature multiple platforms: dozens of international galleries; artist, curator and collector panel discussions and tours; performances; and, exhibition opportunities for artists, currently without gallery representation, to present, free of charge, performances, installations, interventions or other work. (e)merge is organized by Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith, co-founders of Conner Contemporary in Washington, DC, and Helen Allen, founder and former director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair.

“(e)merge will be like a flash mob for emerging art,” said Leigh Conner. “Our goal is to create a place of energy and discovery for emerging artists, collectors, curators, gallerists and those who want to experience the raw creative power of emerging art and artists. Most importantly, (e)merge is conceived to honor and celebrate artists, their work and the creative process. Now is our time.”

“There’s an exciting art scene happening in DC and I’m thrilled that Capitol Skyline will be the site of (e)merge. This fair is a fresh, original and provocative approach to experiencing art,” said Mera Rubell. “DC is known for its extraordinary cultural institutions and as an international political capital, and we’ve discovered it also has a uniquely plugged-in, vital and energetic arts community that’s poised for broader recognition.”

The organizers draw inspiration from “The Punk Art Show: (Washington, DC, 1978), “The Times Square Show” (New York, 1980), “The Ritz” hotel exhibition (Washington, DC, 1983), and the Gramercy Park Hotel International Art Fair (New York, 1993). Each introduced art lovers, curators and collectors to new generations of gallerists and artists including Jenny Holzer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and others.

Applications for galleries, nonprofits, and artists will be available on (e)merge’s Web site January 20, 2011. A committee of international art professionals will evaluate submissions. Artists, currently without representation, wishing to exhibit will submit proposals for experimental projects in noncommercial formats. Vetting and advisory committee lists will be announced at a later date.

Emerge Art Fair | Washington | Leigh Conner | Jamie Smith |

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