Speaker(s): Juliet Helmke, Maureen Bray, Cristina Salmastrelli, Eric Smith, Mikhaile Solomon, Elena Zavelev

The Fair Economy: How Art Fairs Have Reshaped the Art Market


Probably the most urgent challenge facing the arts sector concerns the question of representation and the responsibility of everyone working within the arts to encourage more egalitarianism through providing platforms and opportunities to a different voice.

One of the most significant developments has been the emergence of The Art Fair which now represents one of the key institutions in the global art market. They have not only become an economic force in boosting the art market but have also had a cultural impact. Art fairs play the role of market intermediaries because they offer a practical means for art critics, collectors, curators, museum directors and enthusiasts to come into direct contact and have access to a wide range of works from around the world gathered under one roof all in one shot, which is particularly useful in a market that’s now globalized. But are the factors at play all positive?

The panel will discuss:

  • Art Fairs have changed the industry as a major retail center
  • Dealing with the increasing national need for a market structure to support the existing artistic supply and connect it with the market demand
  • Attracting serious buyers – niche fairs vs larger fairs
  • How stable is the art fair sales market?

This talk was originally filmed during The Business of Art Observed.


Juliet Helmke

Editor at Observer
Based in New York, Juliet Helmke is an editor at Observer who previously held editorial positions at Modern Painters and The Artist Catalogue. Her writing has appeared in Art+Auction, Artinfo, Gothamist, Brownstoner, Editorialist and others. Raised in Brisbane, Australia, she holds a master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York majoring in criticism...

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Maureen Bray

Executive Director at Art Dealers Association of America
Maureen Bray brings over 20 years of gallery experience to her role as Executive Director of the ADAA, having served in leadership positions at three ADAA galleries and participated in The Art Show for over 15 years. Bray also served on the organizing committee for the 2018 edition of The Art Show and was involved in the ADAA’s...

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Cristina Salmastrelli

US Regional Managing Director at Ramsay Fairs
Experienced arts management professional that has produced 60 and directed 20 international art fairs. Passionate for public facing activities to increase audience of art fairs while always mindful of coaching the next generation of creative leaders.

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Eric Smith

CEO/President at Redwood Media Group
Eric Smith, CEO of Redwood Media Group, oversees all aspects of the business. Beginning his career in international art business at Martin Lawrence Galleries, Smith managed 20+ galleries and developed a passion for modern and contemporary art, selling Warhol, Rosenquist, Rauschenberg, Oldenburg and Keith Haring. Later, Smith joined Advanstar...

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Mikhaile Solomon

Founder / Director at Prizm Art Fair
Mikhaile Solomon was born and raised in Miami, Florida and is Caribbean heritage. Her parents are the from the island of St. Kitts – Nevis. She is a graduate of Florida International University’s Graduate program in Architecture and completed her undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts at the University of South Florida. With her varied professional...

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Elena Zavelev

Elena Zavelev is a contributor to Forbes magazine and the founder and CEO of New Art Academy, the authority on ArtTech, blockchain and AI for the global art market. Elena is a collector of crypto and digital art and loves discovering and supporting emerging new media artists. Since its launch in 2017, New Art Academy has hosted a number of international conferences and events in partnership...

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