The private reception, which required a "Black Card" for access, took place just an hour and a half before the opening night crowds poured in and featured complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages from California winery Line 39. Proceeds from the exclusive sneak preview benefited the Asia Society Texas Center, represented by executive director Bonna Kol.
Of the 56 galleries featured, 18 are from outside the United States, which provided for an incredibly diverse array of global art.
Welcoming the early VIP throng were HFAF founder Rick Friedman and fair chair Deborah Colton.
From serious collectors to young professionals, everyone was dressed to the nines as they mixed and mingled with local and international gallerists at the massive art fair. Of the 56 galleries featured, 18 are from outside the United States, which provided for an incredibly diverse array of global art.
From bold sculptural pieces and hyper-realistic paintings to interactive neon art and colorful abstract works, the 123,000-square-foot Hall C at NRG Center was laden with incredible pieces crafted by artists from around the world. A number of Andy Warhol lithographs from Adamar Fine Arts in Miami and Houston- and Santa Fe-based Wade Wilson Art's stunning spiraled sculpture by James Surls drew plenty of attention from preview attendees.
Local art was also on display with nearly a dozen area galleries present including Deborah Colton Gallery and Parkerson Gallery, as well as at the Houston Artists Hall Of Fame, which featured works by, among others, Mel Chin, Terrell James and The Art Guys' Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing. Patty Covo Johnson, former Houston Chronicle art critic and curator of the Hall of Fame, joined the party.
By night's end 3,600 art fans had entered the fair. The early arrivals included Nancy Allen, Judy Nyquist, Martha Finger, Jonathan Glus, Jereann Chaney, Bill Arning, Judith Oudt, Zoya Tommy, Guus Kemp, Don Mafrige Jr., Hannah Wilson, Julie Deal, Maryam Afshari, Julie and Blake Pratz, Adam Erdesz, Laszlo Erdesz and Gaston Ugalde.
The Houston Fine Art Fair continues through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, with a full schedule of programming including HFAF ArtSpeak discussions presented by CultureMap.
See some scenes from the Houston Fine Art Fair festivities: