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Q&A with Seattle Art Fair Director Max Fishko

The mastermind behind the PNW’s largest art showcase talks about learning from the past, planning for the future and what to enjoy at this year’s fair

July 26, 2016

By Seattle Art Fair / Photo: Seattle Art Fair

In just its second year, Seattle Art Fair features more than eighty influential galleries from around the world. It should come as no surprise that fair organizers have lofty goals for the event, running August 4th to 7th at CenturyLink Field. Director Max Fishko shares how they intend to get there and what to expect this summer.

Last year marked the inaugural Seattle Art Fair. What was the general response and what did you learn that you have applied to this year’s event?
CenturyLink Field Event Center is an incredible hall, and we are really privileged to get to work in such a great space. We changed the floor plan after observing the dynamics of the crowd last year, creating a bit more space to accommodate people and facilitate some amazing, large-scale projects.

How do you go about selecting exhibitors and galleries to participate? Is there a certain theme, focus, or—on the other hand—diversity, you are looking to represent?
A committee of nine dealers reviewed specific, detailed booth proposals. We were looking to have a blend of excellent, regionally relevant presentations alongside some amazing international projects.

This year you have added a restaurant program to the weekend itinerary. What inspired this collaboration, and how can visitors take part
Seattle’s Ethan Stowell will be putting together what looks to be a really fantastic food program for both opening night and throughout the weekend. We’re thrilled to be partnering with such an important local restaurateur and chef.

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The fair also features performances, installations, and two-person discussions in adjacent neighbourhoods. How can a visitor maximize their time at the fair and what are some of the must-see events?
There’s so much going on throughout the weekend. Definitely check out Takshi Murakami’s exhibition Juxtapoz x Superflat taking place at Pivot in conjunction with Seattle Art Fair. Onsite I’m looking forward to exploring Sketch Aquarium, part of the fair’s youth program. Seattle Art Fair and Pace Gallery are working with teamLab, a creative group that brings artists, programmers and engineers together to create interactive installations that highlight a balance between art, science, technology and creativity. The teamLab hub will feature the group’s acclaimed interactive projects for kids.

As Director, what would you say is the overarching goal of Seattle Art Fair?
We want Seattle Art Fair to be the best in the country. An intimate scale, an amazing setting and an incredibly committed group of partners, collectors and institutions give us a unique opportunity to build something truly amazing. We are hard at work.

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