Several of Richmond's most influential gallery owners, designers and dealers are joining forces to celebrate 20th- and 21st-century art, furniture and decorative arts.
Based on Design Miami, the vaunted showcase for 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting and art objects, the goal of Art, Style, Design was to create a two-day fair to provide an eclectic and accessible destination for collectors, while also broadening awareness of modern and contemporary design. Close to 2,000 people are expected to visit this year's inaugural event.
The organizers and principal participants are Kirsten Gray, owner of Eric Schindler Gallery, Richmond's oldest gallery featuring contemporary painting by regional artists, Maurice Beane, an internationally known expert on 20th and 21st century decorative arts, Bart Schultz, a specialist in American modern design, and Geraldine Duskin, a gallerist and interior designer with a focus on fine and decorative arts and fashion. Eight additional dealers, including private collectors, will be on hand to present the best of what they have and encourage people to begin collecting or upgrade items that no longer fit their aesthetic.
For those who have difficulty imaging how an abstract painting or a Danish modern table would look as part of their décor, the furniture, art and objects will be staged in vignettes to provide inspiration. "Doing it that way is appealing to many people because you get to see how things go together," Duskin says. "This is a curated show."
Bart Schultz Modern Objects operates out of Schultz' loft home in Manchester, where he deals mostly in 20th-century modern furniture and hand-crafted objects such as studio pottery, art glass and iconic modern designs.
He gives high marks to the group of exhibitors chosen from the mid-Atlantic region who'll be displaying their wares. "They live and breathe art and good design, so you'll see offerings that you might be more likely to see in a market like New York or Los Angeles," Schultz says. "I think Richmonders, and millennials in particular, have a hunger for something modern and fresh when it comes to living in the 21st century and that's what this show is about."
Besides attendees being able to meet different dealers, they can be exposed to different styles and genres of furniture, art and objects. A good relationship with a dealer allows buyers to learn from someone with years of experience, while also getting the chance to see the freshest merchandise on the market.
Part of the mission of Lewis Trimble's eponymous Decorative Arts and Antiques shop in Kilmarnock is to allow new collectors to be hands-on with as many top quality items as possible before making a purchase and the same applies to his participation in the fair.
"As a dealer I've handled some of the best items possible, and also made some of the worst mistakes when I first started out," he recalls. "I'm always available to help guide collectors or aspiring collectors."
According to the organizers, their vision is to make Richmond home to an annual event where collectors can discover, explore and acquire quality art and design. Even the venue has been curated, with the organizers choosing the Highpoint, a 1939 art moderne building on Broad Street, known to many for its mural of Bernie Sanders. After a careful renovation by David Morrison and Claire Accardo, the organizers saw the building as an ideal gallery setting for an event focusing on art, style and design.
"Our exhibitors are approachable and have affordable offerings," Schultz says. "Their knowledge is free and they're happy to share it. Building a beautiful collection doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg."
Art, Style, Design will be held Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Highpoint, 3300 W. Broad St.