On March 30, artists who had participated in the 2016 Palm Beach Fine Craft Show opened their mailboxes to find a letter from the show’s producer, Elizabeth Kubie of Crafts America, informing them that after 13 years, the show had been cancelled and Crafts America had ceased operations. By that afternoon, our phone and email were full of messages from artists, asking us to find a way to keep the show alive.
Many of the artists had invested years building a clientele in Palm Beach, and did not want to lose a steady source of income. Some felt betrayed, since Crafts America had done the same thing in 2014, when it cancelled the Washington Craft Show without warning. As the former publicists for both shows, we developed a strong relationship, even a kinship, with many of the participating artists, and felt obligated to do whatever we could to make things right.
Wasting no time, we immediately set out to secure a venue, create a website and launch a new show; all of which we did in about a week. It was a very busy time, and by week’s end Palm Beach Contemporary was a reality. The show makes its debut March 10 thru 12, 2017 at the South Florida Expo Center, a 50,000 square foot indoor venue located at the South Florida Fairgrounds property in central Palm Beach County. (There is no fair there, except for 2 weeks every January, so artists won’t be sharing space with rides and cotton candy).
We announced our new show and launched our website (http://pbartshow.com) in early April, and by the end of our first week had over 50 of the nation’s top contemporary artists on board. We now have 90 and are adding new artists almost daily. The show will feature sculptural and functional art, furniture, wearables, jewelry and fashion accessories.
Many of the artists have work in major museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and others. Their names read like a "Who's Who" on any curator or collector's wish list, and the list of museums that collect their work is equally as impressive.
Our lineup will include a number of artists the folks of Palm Beach have come to know and love over the years, including Deborah Cross, Marianne Hunter, Charles Savoie, Susan Bradley, Amy Nguyen, Robert Farrell, Kit Karbler, and Starr Hagenbring to name just a few. They will be joined by a number of artists who have never exhibited in South Florida. To see who’s on board so far, please visit our website.
Technically, this is a first year show; however, we spent nearly a decade building the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show and we understand the market. We live here. We have an excellent relationship with the media and know whom to contact to ensure maximum publicity. This will allow us to ‘hit the ground running.’ As soon as we launched our new show we reached out to FLORIDA DESIGN magazine, which we brought on board as a sponsor for the Palm Beach show many years ago, and they were thrilled to hear that we would be working together again. We received the same response from other media outlets and are working to bring some on as sponsors.
What began as an invitation-only event has morphed into a hybrid invite/apply show. We realized as artists began contacting us about exhibiting in the show that there are many, many talented individuals we have not met in our travels. So, to make sure everyone has a chance to participate we have place a call on ZAPP, and we invite qualified artists to apply at https://www.zapplication.org/event-info.php?ID=5025.
We were both honored and humbled when artists reached out to us and offered their support for our new show in Palm Beach, and will do everything in our power to make Palm Beach Contemporary the best it can be. We invite you to visit our website at http://pbartshow.com, and to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Links to our social media accounts are on the home page. Most importantly, we invite you to join us in Palm Beach March 10 thru 12, 2017 for Palm Beach Contemporary: The Art, Design & Fashion Event of the Year!