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Helen Toomer appointed Director of PHOTOFAIRS New York
Helen Toomer, Director of PHOTOFAIRS New York. Courtesy BFA.



NEW YORK, NY.- Creo announced today the appointment of veteran arts leader Helen Toomer as Director of PHOTOFAIRS New York, the new contemporary art fair dedicated to photo-based works and digital media launching in September. Toomer brings to her role more than fifteen years of experience across the commercial and non-profit sectors, with a track record of launching new organizations and convening the arts community.  

Toomer oversees the fair’s strong curatorial approach, bringing together contemporary photography in all its forms and exploring its intersections with new and emerging technologies, including filmmaking, VR, and NFTs. Forging a distinct role in the New York arts ecology, PHOTOFAIRS New York will connect collectors and visitors with galleries from around the world to discover and engage with the rapidly evolving digital art and photography landscapes. PHOTOFAIRS New York is organized by Creo in partnership with Angus Montgomery Arts, its majority shareholder, and in collaboration with Photo London and Candlestar founders, Michael Benson and Fariba Farsha. The Fair’s inaugural edition takes place September 8–10, 2023 at the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side, coinciding with The Armory Show. 

Helen Toomer, Director, PHOTOFAIRS New York said: “The landscape of photography and new media is constantly evolving, and PHOTOFAIRS New York is the first U.S. contemporary art fair dedicated to exploring the trajectory of these mediums as they unfold in real time. The fair will present the most cutting-edge works being made today and provide a centralized point for discussions focused on the vast wealth of photography and new technologies. September is a momentous time to welcome collectors, curators, and visitors to New York City, and I look forward to gathering the international art communities at PHOTOFAIRS New York to mark a vibrant week in culture. It’s going to be a joy to connect, discover, and interact with new works, while celebrating the artists who create them.”  

Scott Gray, Founder and CEO, Creo, said: “Through years of work at the intersection of arts and innovation, Helen has cultivated an unparalleled expertise for igniting new arts initiatives and bringing together communities including galleries, collectors, and artists, both from the local scene and the wider art landscape. We’re thrilled to have her experience and passion on board for the launch of PHOTOFAIRS New York, especially given her demonstrated commitment to the cultural community of the region. We look forward to working with Helen to introduce PHOTOFAIRS’ pioneering new platform for photography and new technologies and to realize our vision of a dynamic first edition.”  

Toomer’s extensive experience in launching and growing young arts organizations extends from non-profit cultural initiatives to commercial fairs. Most recently, she founded UPSTATE ART WEEKEND (UPAW), an annual celebration of the cultural vibrancy of Upstate New York, which under her tenure expanded from 23 participants in 2020 to 145 participants in 2022 and attracted thousands of visitors to the region. Toomer additionally co-founded STONELEAF RETREAT, an artist residency and creative space focused on supporting womxn and families. In this spirit of community-building, Toomer co-founded Art Mamas Alliance in 2019 to support dialogue on motherhood among creative professionals. Toomer’s leadership experience also includes the direction of several commercial fairs including the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair, PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs, and Collective Design Fair, which she helped launch in 2013. Toomer has additionally previously served as executive director of Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) and co-founder of the contemporary art gallery, toomer labzda, in New York City. Toomer lectures at universities and arts organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom, and was an adjunct professor at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She serves on the Board of AIRIE and Advisory Committees for ProjectArt, Foundwork, The Dorsky Museum, and the Baxter St Camera Club of New York. 










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