Echo looks to the north
Didier Courbot, "French Thonet 1/6", 2011
Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery
If the explosive sophomore year growth of echo Art Fair is any indication, this event may very well be one of the elements that brings back the perfect storm of cutting edge art activity Buffalo enjoyed during the 1970s. (See Bruce Adams' review of Wish You Were Here to learn more about that era.)
At press time, the final decisions about which galleries and artists to be included had been made (UPDATE: here is the list of artists), and already—as a lively discussion on Facebook made clear—there are many more artists eager to be included than the fair could possibly accommodate. Which is a good thing. Eleven short months ago, most in the region knew absolutely nothing about this event. Now it is considered suitable matter for a 128-comment-and-counting Facebook thread.
Echo’s short and steep rise to renown has also lured the participation of several highly-regarded Toronto galleries. Known as the Tecumseth Street Galleries, these include Birch Libralato, Diaz Contemporary, Susan Hobbs, and Georgia Scherman Projects. Hallwalls and CEPA patrons will recognize a number of the artists who regularly show at these venues, most notably Suzy Lake, Kelly Richardson, Carlo Cesta, and Toni Hafkenscheid, all of whom have shown their work in Buffalo.
Although we often bemoan the lack of a major commercial gallery scene here in Buffalo, that doesn’t mean we don’t have collectors. April’s CEPA auction had record sales, and a new art benefit, last winter's Drawing Rally at Hallwalls was a smash hit, with another planned for July 25. Unlike those benefits, however, all the revenues from echo will go to the artists and galleries, with costs taken care of by rental fees.
Those planning to attend echo should mark their calendars now for Friday, July 6, the night of the VIP preview party. Sponsored by the above-mentioned Canadian galleries, this provides an opportunity to preview and buy artwork before the fair officially opens to the public on July 7 and 8. Check echoartfair.com for information about tickets and more.