An independent artist is one free of all constraints, including gallery representation. Their work is not on the commercial art fair circuit, where most sales are made, so in San Francisco they are getting a fair of their own.
The stARTup Art Fair premieres May 1-3 at Hotel del Sol, which is a 1950s-style motor lodge with a pool in the courtyard, in the Marina District. Fifty artists will get a room each for a three-day solo exhibition. Going from room to room will be an experience akin to the famed Art Motel in Soma 25 or 30 years ago.
San Francisco artist Ray Beldner and former gallery owner Steve Zavattero are putting stARTup together so that each artists keeps 100% of sales proceeds and there is plenty of demand for a room. The selection committee includes a chief curator at SFMOMA and an art professor at San Francisco State.
In this way it is a link to “Sap — the residue of the San Francisco art scene, ” which a few gallerists put together during the San Francisco International Art Exposition in 1998. That event, held at the Lanai Motel, on the other end of the Lombard strip. Was a combined art and beer fair and was a free-flowing event until the cops penned the drinkers in, thereby killing the spirit of the fair.