Atlanta-based show management company Urban Expositions acquired Hamptons Expo Group. New York-based Hamptons Expo Group founded and produces ArtAspen, ArtHamptons, Houston Fine Art Fair, and Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.
Rick Friedman, former owner and president of Hamptons Expo Group, will continue his involvement in a consulting capacity. Rich Ferrante, Hamptons Expo Group’s sales director will continue to focus on gallery outreach for ArtAspen, ArtHamptons, Houston Fine Art Fair, and Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.
In 2013, Urban Expositions acquired SOFA CHICAGO, Chicago’s longest continuously running gallery-presented art fair. The acquisition of the Hamptons Expo Group marks Urban’s second major art fair acquisition, and one of the first acquisitions under Clarion Event’s ownership. The Hamptons Expo Group’s art fairs feature galleries and dealers from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and mixed-media.
Doug Miller, CEO, Urban commented, “The speed in which we were able to act on this great opportunity was fantastic. To have completed our own transaction plus the acquisition of WWIN (one of the largest shows dedicated to premier apparel and accessory lines in the country) and Hamptons Expo Group bodes well for the future. This new acquisition takes the number of shows under Urban’s control to 40, and we are actively seeking more opportunities. We are excited to further expand our art and design portfolio, which has been our goal since the acquisition of SOFA in 2013. The Hamptons Expo Group fairs are in desirable cities that are important to the galleries and the art community, and we believe we can leverage our activity across the fairs to deliver dynamic and high-quality events.”
“We have long believed companies that are looking to sell their businesses either in part or whole, want to transact with a buyer who either has the same ethos as them and/or can provide a recognizable growth opportunity,” added Simon Kimble, chairman, Clarion Events. “We clearly would like to continue this approach and look forward to making more acquisitions with Urban in the USA.”
Rick Friedman noted, “The trend I see in collections across the country is the presentation of fine art paintings, prints and photography displayed alongside objects — masterworks in glass, ceramics, fiber and wood — a trend long-championed by SOFA Fairs. What an exhilarating collecting environment we plan for our fairgoers in 2016.”
“We are thrilled about expanding into new markets with this acquisition,” added Donna Davies, director, SOFA CHICAGO. “There is tremendous opportunity to grow these fairs, bringing our talented team’s ideas and energy to these cities. We look forward to expanding the breadth of our art fairs with our unique vision and execution.”
The Hamptons Expo Group will assist Urban Expositions with the production of the upcoming Houston Fine Art Fair, and Urban Expositions will take over ownership and management at the close of the 2015 event.
The Houston Fine Art Fair takes place at the NRG Center in Houston, Sept. 9-12. For information on the upcoming Houston Fine Art Fair including exhibition opportunities and admission ticket purchasing and pricing, visit www.houstonfineartfair.com.