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Not going to Art Chicago, which runs May 10-13, 2002, at Navy Pier in the Windy City? Then a new hotel fair in New York may be for you. The Scope Art Fair launches May 10-14, 2002, on the top three floors of the Gershwin Hotel at 7 East 27th Street. Some 25 galleries, curators and art groups are participating: 123 Watts (New York), Angstrom Gallery (Dallas), Arena (Brooklyn), Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery (Chicago), Bronwyn Keenan (New York), Christopher Cutts (Toronto), Cornell DeWitt (New York), curcioprojects (New York), DeChiara Gallery (New York), Dee/Glasoe (New York), Florence Lynch Gallery (New York), Galleri K (Oslo), Kevin Bruk Fine Art (Miami), Lyons Wier Gallery (New York), Mizuma Art Gallery (Tokyo), Priska Juschka Fine Art (Brooklyn), Rare (New York), Robert Birch Gallery (Toronto), Sara Meltzer Gallery (New York), Shaheen Contemporary (Cleveland), The Proposition: Ellen Donahue & Ronald Sosinski (New York), Universal Concepts Unlimited (New York). General admission is $10; for more info, see

The Affordable Art Fair, launched by art entrepreneur Will Ramsay in London in 1999, is coming to Pier 92 on the Hudson River in New York this fall, Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2002. The plan is to combine "a relaxed approach and affordable prices," with "quality contemporary art" priced under $5,000. Ramsay, a former captain in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, now operates two Affordable Art Fairs per year in London and is starting up a third in Bristol. The New York version should be "more avant-garde than London," says Helen Allen, who is overseeing the project from the New York end. "Original art only," she cautions. "And only living artists, at least three exhibiting in each booth." About 80-100 exhibitors are expected; booths start at $2,800 for an 8 x 12 foot space. Applications are now coming in; Caren Golden, Lux and Margaret Thatcher Projects are among dealers who have expressed interest. For more info, contact the Affordable Art Fair at (212) 987-1589.

The world of cyberspace has a new resource for Latin American art. Gustavo A. Cisneros, a Caracas media tycoon who owns everything from baseball teams to breweries, along with wife Patricia Phelps Cisneros and brother Ricardo Cisneros operates the Fundación Cisneros, which collects Latin American art, supports art education programs and provides curatorial travel grants (in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art), and also operates Proyecto Orinoco, a broad initiative to study and preserve indigenous Venezuelan culture. The foundation has now launched a website in English, Spanish and Portuguese at, which includes images of 166 works by 103 mostly Latin American artists (from Josef Albers, Carmelo Arden Quin and Ferdinand Bellermann to Mira Schendel, Joaquín Torres-Garcia and Meyer Vaisman), along with many other features, including a glossary of Latin American art terms, a transcription of a conversation between Patricia Cisneros and curator Paulo Herkenhoff, and several games -- including a do-it-yourself mobile kit for those with fast Internet connections.

The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, a visual arts development program funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has announced winners of its 2002 grants, a total of almost $900,000 given for exhibitions and "curatorial consultation and planning," a new category. Six Philadelphia-area institutions received funds for shows: Arcadia University Art Gallery for a the installation of a pair of 360 Degree Spectral Color Rooms by Olafur Eliasson ($180,000); Eastern State Penitentiary for a sound project by Janet Cardiff ($166,440); Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design for a retrospective of French abstract painter Raymond Hains ($122,000); JCCs Gershman Y Borowsky Gallery for a survey of Philadelphia Pop ($173,080); the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an installation based on the Liberty Bell by Christian Marclay ($70,000), and the Rosenbach Museum and Library for a comic strip and opera by Ben Katchor ($70,000). Four $25,000 grants also went to individual curators or curatorial groups for planning for future shows.

On May 31, 2002, the Frick Collection in New York plans to begin staying open till 9 p.m. on Fridays, offering a cash bar in its garden court. Evening "socials" at art museums seem to be really catching on -- late Friday hours are currently offered by the Asia Society, Guggenheim, Metropolitan and Whitney museums. General admission at the Frick is $10. The year-long pilot program is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which has also given money to restore a pre-doctoral curatorial fellowship program and to restore to the Frick's fall 2002 schedule a show of paintings from the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, cancelled after 9/11.

New York-based real estate developer and contemporary art collector William S. Ehrlich wants to make Beacon, N.Y., a center of the arts -- and has enlisted former San Francisco Museum of Modern Art director David Ross as "impresario for culture" at his new Beacon Cultural Project, according to a report by Carol Vogel in the New York Times. Beacon is already home to a five-acre Tallix Fine Art Foundry and site of a future museum operated by the Dia Center for the Arts. Ehrlich's plans include a high-end art-storage center, with a 20,000-square-foot exhibition area, called the Beacon Art Society, a Project Gallery on Main Street and hotels, restaurants and conference centers.

NFA Space in Chicago, founded in 1996 by artists Iain Muirhead and Amavong Panya, has shut down. The move was a financial one, write the proprietors in a mass e-mail subject-lined "the bomb," and the two artists say they will now concentrate on "other priorities." NFA space continues as a website, where images of works by Caroline C. Allison, William Cordova, Katy Fischer, Garrett Jensen, Robert Lentz, Conor McGrady, Ben Rubin, Carolyn Swiszcz, Jen Talbot, Oli Watt and other gallery artists can be seen.

Long-time SoHo holdout Angela Westwater opens her new gallery space for Sperone Westwater in Manhattan's West Chelsea district at 415 West 13th Street with an exhibition of new paintings by Susan Rothenberg, May 3-June 1, 2002. Next up in the Meat Market gallery is a "Mapping the Studio" video installation by Bruce Nauman, opening June 7.

Paul Gottlieb, head of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., for more than two decades, is stepping down from his post to become exective director of the Aperture Foundation, the leading photo-book publisher. He succeeds Michael E. Hoffman, who died suddenly late last year.

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