The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Become a Collector On the Cheap at Chelsea's Affordable Art Fair

By Mathew Katz | October 3, 2012 7:29am | Updated on October 3, 2012 11:06am

CHELSEA — You don't need millions to start a collection of fine art.

The Affordable Art Fair comes to Chelsea this weekend, with hundreds of paintings, sculptures and more for as little as $100.

The fair, now in its 12th year, assembles a collection of original artwork ranging from $100 to $10,000 — with half of the pieces less than $5,000 — in an attempt to draw in new collectors.

The fair, which kicks off with a private preview Thursday night, was moved this year from the 7W New York in Midtown to The Tunnel in Chelsea on 11th Ave. Organizers said the venue will be draped in a huge vinyl mural featuring pink paint dripping down the side of the historic building.

The fall fair, which is typically smaller than its springtime cousin, has more of a boutique feel to it at the new venue, said Cristina Salmastrelli, the fair's director.

But that doesn't mean it's pricier.

Included in the fair is a wall of works for less than $500, and any piece that's less than $1,000 will be marked with a bright sticker. There's even a selection of the sub-$1000 art available to preview online.

"If we can share our love of art in any way, shape, or form, we will," Salmastrelli said.

"You can get a piece, take it home with you, and it won't break the bank."

This year's fair includes works from 61 galleries in the city and from around the world, as well as art from the West Harlem Art Fund.

Some of the highlighted works include a photograph of an old-time root beer mug to advertise a soda shop, and the oil painting "Town Gathering" by Vietnamese artist Phuong Quach Dong.

On top of the many affordable works of fine art, the fair also features artist and curator talks, panel discussions, and kids' activities.

The goal, organizers said, is to open up the pricey art world to people who might not normally have the cash to collect.

"Anyone who wants to walk through that door, no matter what their knowledge of art is, we welcome you and we want to share our knowledge with you," Salmastrelli said.

She admitted that the art world can seem exclusive to outsiders, but that the Affordable Art Fair is meant to help rid galleries of that stigma.

"In some places, it's not as open, but everyone there wants to answer your questions," 

Salmastrelli said. "Every gallery, every staff member, we're here to communicate."

The Affordable Art Fair runs on Oct. 5 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Tunnel, 269 11th Ave. Admission is $12 for the general public, $10 for seniors and students, and free for kids under 12. Admission is free to everyone from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.