Art Sarasota generates extraordinary response for launch of 2011 SeaFair season


Art Sarasota generates extraordinary response for launch of 2011 SeaFair season.

A record 18,000 visitors attend innovative venue.

Cuban Painter Antonio Guerrero among the talented artists exhibiting on this historic event.

Art lovers discuss the work of artist Antonio Guerrero from the Aldo Castillo gallery in Key Biscayne on the SeaFair.

Sarasota, FL – “This is the most exciting thing to happen to Sarasota since Ringling brought the circus,” commented Brad Goddard of PNC Wealth Management and a co-sponsor of the opening evening Preview Party to benefit the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA).  “This ship is incredible.”  That was the consensus among the 2,700 guests attending Art Sarasota’s Thursday opening.

“It was a wonderful experience,”stated Sarasota Museum of Art Board Member, Peppi Elona.  “We are happy and delighted with the exhibition and this special environment.  It was exciting to have SeaFair come to Sarasota, and we can’t wait until its return.”

Those in attendance opening night included former Metropolitan Museum Curator, Joanne Olian.  “It was festive and elegant.  When you’re aboard it’s very conducive to buying because you feel like you’re really away and on holiday.”

The work of artist James Mathison's from the Aldo Castillo gallery in Key Biscayne on the SeaFair, a 228-foot mega-yacht and floating art gallery, which opened it"s galleries to the public on Friday, March 25, 2011 at Waterfront Park in Sarasota.

Friday morning the crowds gathered early in anticipation to board the 228-foot, 3,200 ton exhibition mega-yacht that set the city abuzz when it sailed into Sarasota the previous day.  “I watched the ship pull in on the news and couldn’t wait to check it out.  This is so exciting,” said local collector Shelly Bradley.

The welcoming and enthusiastic response from local residents and community officials was overwhelming.  Estelle Crawford observed, “This is so appropriate for Sarasota.  We are a community that appreciates the arts as well as a whole other host of cultural aspects.” Her husband Carl Crawford chimed in with a grin, “and yachts.”  They agreed, “It was simply spectacular.”

Antonio Guerrero and Dr Carlos Rodriguez as they leave the fair the night of the opening

In the days that followed, lines often four blocks long waited patiently to board the ship.

David Lester of IFAE and Expoships noted “The public response from this very culturally oriented community was overwhelming – our attendance here set new records for any Seafair event! More than 18,000- visitors attended Art Sarasota this week. ”

Dealers found a large collector community in Sarasota and a market for American and international art.   Among the onboard exhibitions were fine art glass from the United States and Italy, paintings, sculpture, and installations.

Leticia del Monte Founder of The Cuban Art Project (Photo by Antonio Guerrero)

SeaFair’s next stop will be in Newport, RI for late June and Fourth of July visitors.  The mega-yacht will then sail on to a two-part visit to Martha’s Vineyard in July and August, before ending its SeaFair summer season with a return to its inaugural port in Greenwich, CT, September 15th – 19th.

Based on the success of Art Sarasota, SeaFair will adopt a similar exhibitor profile for Newport and Martha’s Vineyard, featuring modern and contemporary art, jewelry, and sculpture.   The ship will host American and international galleries with a majority of artwork in the $3,000 to $35,000 range with the occasional more expensive work.

About SeaFair

SeaFair is the world’s first mobile megayacht venue and the fourth largest privately owned yacht in the United States. Groundbreaking in scale, ingenuity and style, the yacht – which remains dockside during each event – pairs international fine art, jewelry and collectables with harbor view dining and special events in cities along the eastern seaboard.

An old man view paintings from the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples on the SeaFair ( photo by Leticia del Monte)

The $40M purpose built yacht was designed by internationally acclaimed yacht designer Luiz De Basto. At 228 feet and 2800 international tons, it is the largest ship built for commercial operation in the Intracoastal Waterway and requires a draft of only 6.5 feet allowing it to dock at small yacht facilities in central city locations rather than use commercial ports.


This creative concept was developed by International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE) – a leader in organizing leading prestigious art fairs throughout the world.

IFAE has pioneered more international fine art fairs than any global fair organizer since 1991, having established major fairs in Miami Beach (Art Miami and Miami International Art Fair), Palm Beach (The Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair, American International Fine Art Fair, Palm Beach Town & Country, Style, and artpalmbeach) , Chicago (Art Chicago), New York (The New York International Fair, The New York Fine Art Fair), Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills International Art & Antique Fair) Dallas (Dallas International Art & Antique Fair) and Hong Kong (Art Asia, New Trends). The clientele for IFAE’s major land-based fairs include many of the most important galleries and collectors in the world. See

  • Deck One features a formal entry, ten individual exhibit spaces and a coffee bar
  • Deck Two features twelve exhibit spaces and the Luxe Lounge, an open-air champagne and caviar lounge on the aft deck
  • Deck Three features six exhibit spaces and Sapore’, our formal glass-walled restaurant
  • The Sky Deck (Deck Four) contains Bistro360, an informal open-air restaurant and Bar360, a cocktail reception area

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: