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Arte Santander 2006


opening of Arte Santander 2006

Every year, Santander attracts a great number of visitors to enjoy the city, its wonderful beaches and its cultural variety. And especially in terms of the latter, there are more and more people coming every year who do not want to miss the main event of the summer season. The Arte Santander art fair opened its 15th edition last Wednesday, July 12. Thirty-two galleries, most of them from Spain, presented their works on the first floor of the "Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones", while an exhibition was shown on the second floor topping off the cultural program around the fair. It was a small fair primarily focusing on the quality of the participating galleries.
The so-called "III Foro sobre Arte Contemporáneo ARTESANTANDER" equally aroused lively interest. At the fair itself, a very relaxed atmosphere was perceivable, encouraging the exchange of contacts among gallery owners. Unlike other fairs, the majority of sales were closed at the end of the fair, during the weekend.
The exhibition also transcended the walls of the exhibition building, as the city offered numerous artistic interventions - thanks to Arte Santander, and particularly, thanks to the project "Visiones Urbanas III" - with a selection of Spanish artists having installed their works amidst Santander's urban ambiance.




Magda Bellotti (director of the gallery Magda Bellotti, Madrid, next to a work by Manolo Quejido)


Magda Bellotti (Magda Bellotti, Madrid)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
Magda Bellotti: I participated already twice, two years ago and in this year's edition.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
Magda Bellotti: It is situated in a fantastic location. The booths are well arranged. Much more visitors came this year than two years ago, which is advantageous. The organisation is very good.

Artfacts.Net: Is there anything to be improved?
Magda Bellotti: More attention should be paid to galleries from the outside. Institutions should not exclusively buy from local artists. There are collectors, but not enough; the necessary market is missing. The city has to play a bigger part here.




Ramón Sicart (director Gallery Sicart, Vilafranca del Penedès), next to a work by Florence Vaisberg


Ramón Sicart (Galería Sicart, Vilafranca del Penedès)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
Ramón Sicart: This is my fourth participation.

Artfacts.Net: How has the fair developed over the years?
Ramón Sicart: Since Juan Riancho took over the fair's direction, the fair evolved into one of the most important exhibitions in Spain, right behind ARCO.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
Ramón Sicart: The quality of the fair is very high. The level of organisation is very good, too. The efforts made in order to achieve this dimension should be appreciated; we are aware of the energy invested on the part of the direction. In comparison with last year, it is easier for the visitor to have an overview because all galleries are located on the same floor.

Artfacts.Net: What about the sales?
Ramón Sicart: It started well. I sold a work by Florence Vaisberg (Argentina) and by Florian Beckers (Germany) to institutional collections.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think about the collectors program?
Ramón Sicart: They did well this year. A lot of the invited collectors are coming. That is not easy in midsummer. They are coming because they recognise the fair's quality; if the fair was not good, they would not come.

Also in these days, Ramón Sicart presents - in parallel to the fair - an exhibition with his own photographs in the gallery Zoom in Santander.




María Llanos (Director of the gallery María Llanos, Cáceres), next to a work by José Mª Mellado


María LLanos (María LLanos, Cáceres)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
María Llanos: It is the fourth time.

Artfacts.Net: How has the fair developed over the years?
María Llanos: There has been a gradual change which is very interesting to observe. Step by step, the fair has disengaged from a safe concept with little contemporary art. This is so far the best edition. There is quality, the development is very positive. One can also discover works from other countries.

Artfacts.Net: What about the sales?
María Llanos: We cannot yet talk about sales. I have sold work of José Mª Mellado. Fairs of this dimension show results at the end.




Pilar Dolz i Mestre (director of the gallery Cánem, Castelló de la Plana), next to a work by Manel Margalef



Pilar Dolz i Mestre (Galería Cànem, Castelló de la Plana)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
Pilar Dolz i Mestre: It is the fourth year.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
Pilar Dolz i Mestre: It is a fair that I always liked very much. I always defend decentralisation. Art is the only thing that cannot be franchised. One should not buy from hearsay. An independent spirit, a certain criticism, should be promoted instead.
It is a small fair having some difficulties, but it is ameliorating. It is growing with everybody's will; every time, it is becoming more credible. It just needs to be spruced up. The individuality of the participating gallery owners is a positive aspect. It would be very nice if it could continue its development in this direction, and that means with everybody's assistance, including politicians, directors, organisers (who are doing a very good job) and gallery owners participating at the fair.

Artfacts.Net: How did your level of sales develop?
Pilar Dolz i Mestre: Sales are getting better, but it is difficult. I manage to sell something each year, but the public does not seem to find an easy access to my works. But I am satisfied.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the collectors program?
Pilar Dolz i Mestre: The program is good. Buying art is an impulse, both from the collector's point of view and from the point of view of the person buying art on impulse in order to hang it on his or her own walls because he or she just loves it.




João Shirley d'Oliveira (director of the gallery Jorge Shirley, Lisbon), next to a work by Fúlvio Mendes


João Shirley d'Oliveira (Jorge Shirley, Lisbon)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
João Shirley d'Oliveira: It is the first time that I am taking part.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
João Shirley d'Oliveira: It is a small fair, adapted to the city and the local market. The organization is very good, very professional. Excellent works on display.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the collectors program?
João Shirley d'Oliveira: It is a good and interesting program. More collectors are expected for the weekend. The organisers did well in attracting collectors, in making sales easier.

Artfacts.Net: Have you already taken part in other Spanish fairs?
João Shirley d'Oliveira: Yes, in ARCO, in Foro Sur (about seven or eight Portuguese galleries participated) and in Valencia.




Ángeles Baños (Director of the Gallery Ángeles Baños, Badajoz), next to a work by Miguel Villarino


Ángeles Baños (Galeria Ángeles Baños, Badajoz)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
Ángeles Baños: It is the first year.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
Ángeles Baños: The organisation is good. Everything is good, except for the booth design. The extension of the side walls belong to the neighbouring gallery although it should belong to one's own gallery. The works over there do not have anything in common with the presentation of my gallery. These walls need to be canopied.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the collectors program?
Ángeles Baños: The collectors program is good. The collectors I invited are very pleased with the program. The level of the works on display is very good. The collectors certainly come whenever they can, a lot of them will not arrive before weekend.

Artfacts.Net: Do you think that you will come back next year?
Ángeles Baños: I think so, yes.




Blanca Soto (Director of the gallery Blanca Soto, Madrid), next to a work by José Luis Santalla


Blanca Soto (Galeria Blanca Soto, Madrid)

Artfacts.Net: Since when do you participate in Arte Santander?
Blanca Soto: This is the first year.

Artfacts.Net: What do you think of the fair?
Blanca Soto: I have a good feeling. The level of organisation is quite decent. I like the architecture of the booths very much; the limited space is very well organised. The setting is fantastic: Santander in July. The galleries' level seems to be very good as well. I feel comfortable here.

Artfacts.Net: What about the sales?
Blanca Soto: I already sold a piece.

Artfacts.Net: Will you come back next year?
Blanca Soto: I think I will.


Text and Interviews: Patricia Blasco
Translation: Armi Lee

www.artesantander.net

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