From April 29 to May 1, over twenty art galleries, dealers, and print publishers will gather on the top floor of the Baltimore Innovation Center to showcase contemporary prints at the inaugural Baltimore Fine Art Print Fair.
The print fair will take over 45,000 square feet of open warehouse space at the Innovation Center at 1100 Wicomico Street in Pigtown with prints ranging from $100 to $25,000.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Ann Shafer, the fair’s organizer. “If you ever thought in your wildest dreams that you wanted to collect art of some sort, prints are the perfect way in,” she said.
Shafer, an independent curator and former curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art, curated the last three iterations of the BMA’s print fair, which ran from 1990 to 2017.
Shafer collaborated with Brian Miller and Julie Funderburk – co-owners of Baltimore’s Full Circle Fine Art – to organize this coming print fair under their new venture, Fine Arts Baltimore LLC.
The group began planning for the fair over a year ago, landing on 24 exhibitors from all over the country. Local galleries that are participating in the fair include Catalyst Contemporary, located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, and Lily Press, based in Rockville, MD.
The booths will feature fine art prints, multi-part portfolios, and artist books by established and emerging artists. In some cases, the print artist will be in attendance.
As part of the fair, Shafer set up a series of talks with members of the art community from Baltimore and beyond.
The series will begin with a discussion between Shafer and master printer and scholar Phil Sanders on Friday at 1:30 p.m., followed by a conversation between Cara Ober and Jeffrey Kent of Baltimore’s Connect+Collect at 3:30 p.m.
On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., fair exhibitors Mae Shore, from Marginal Editions & Shore Publishing in New York and Tuxedo Park, NY, and Peter Pettengill, from Wingate Studio in Hinsdale, NH will join Phil Sanders in conversation.
And at 2:30 p.m., independent curator Laura Roulet will speak with artists Zorawar Sidhu and Rob Swainston.
Allison Fisher, of Globe Collection and Press at the Maryland Institute College of Art, will round out the series on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with a talk on Globe and commercial printing in Baltimore.
As a curator, Shafer works to “demystify the idea that art should be hard,” she said. Because prints are made in multiples, the price points are often lower, she added.
Shafer encourages visitors to speak with the exhibitors at the fair to learn about the artists, prints, and galleries.
“I always like to remind people that print people are the nicest people,” she said.
“Even if you’re not buying, they will be able to tell you how it was made and what happened when the artist was in the shop,” Shafer added, “They’re very happy to talk to you.”
Tickets for the print fair are now available online.