Friday, June 29, 2007

“Culture and Cocktails” at The Colony Hotel

“Culture and Cocktails” at The Colony Hotel

A series of "Conversations" among local art and culture experts, at Palm Beach’s Colony Hotel.

Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) January 13, 2006

The Palm Beach County Cultural Council hosted the first of four events on the evening of January 9 under the banner of "Culture & Cocktails at The Colony," a series of "Conversations" among local art and culture experts, at Palm Beach’s Colony Hotel.

The event offered an insiders' look at three upcoming Art & Antique Shows, with a conversation among key organizers of each event moderated by Roger Ward, chief curator for the Norton Museum of Art. With a gentle breeze to keep you cool and an insightful panel to keep you informed, the evening was a total success for the Cultural Council, which has increased its outreach efforts since the arrival of president and chief executive officer Rena Blades.

Representing the fairs were: Natalia Hnatiuk, director of palmbeach³; Michael Mezzatesta, director of Palm Beach! America's International Fine Art & Antique Fair; and Palm Beach Jewelry & Antique Show manager / founder Kris Charamonde and show organizer Judy Oppel.

The panelists discussed the similarities and pointed out the differences between the three shows, which offer everything from contemporary art from the 1950s forward to art and antiques from centuries past. The biggest difference is in the vigorous vetting, or authenticating, process both the Palm Beach Jewelry & Antique Show and Palm Beach! America's International Fine Art & Antique Fair must complete before allowing articles onto the show floor. “With contemporary art,” said Hnatiuk, “you simply ask the artist.” She pointed out, however, that while vetting may take on a different form in a show such as palmbeach³, the process of locating trustworthy exhibitors is universal, regardless of whether a show offers contemporary art or art and antiques from centuries past.

Charamonde and Mezzatesta both agreed that finding the most respected and trusted dealers is step one in any vetting process. Said Mezzatesta, “You find out whom you can trust; the dealers that museums look up to for example; dealers with reputations for honesty and integrity.” A questioner from the audience wanted to know if the vetting process involved pricing in any way, and the answer from all three panelists was ‘no.’ “Pricing is left to the seller and buyer, and we don’t get involved in that area at all,” said Charamonde.

Big Business in Palm Beach County and Beyond-

Speaking to the gathering prior to the beginning of the question and answer potion of the evening, Rena Blades told those in attendance that the three art fairs represented at the event account for 40% of the Palm Beach County Convention Center’s annual business.

That makes these shows an important part of the overall success of the facility, “but beyond that,” said Kris Charamonde, “as I travel the world and tell people where I live, they are genuinely excited about what we’re doing here in Palm Beach County and throughout South Florida.” He said the area has become known worldwide as “The art & antique fair capital of the world.” Charamonde added, “people who love art and antiques know that this is the place to be in January and February.”

Is a Collaborative Effort in the Works?

In her closing remarks, Judy Oppel of the Palm Beach Jewelry & Antique Show said she would like to see some sort of joint effort, led by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, promoting the art and antique fairs in the area. Rena Blades quickly agreed and said she looked forward to exploring such an effort.

About “Culture & Cocktails at The Colony”

Admission is free for "Patron of the Arts" members of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, and for guests of The Colony. For everyone else, the cost is $15 per person. For more information, call (561) 471-1602.

# # #