Celebrate the Global Fine Art Awards on October 9
Consider how hard art professionals work to conceive and organize their temporary exhibitions and installations of art and design, and also how much money is spent to mount and tour them. Now ask yourself: How are the best of these projects honored, after the lights have dimmed and the loaned artworks have headed home? Oddly, in a world teeming with award ceremonies for seemingly every possible artistic activity (think “Oscars”), there is no program that recognizes such exhibitions.
Fortunately, the annual Global Fine Art Awards (GFAA) initiative was launched in 2014 by its president and CEO, Judy Holm, who specializes in arts and culture.
Having discerned this glaring gap in the field, Holm has worked tirelessly to create a new tradition that fulfills specific objectives: to recognize the best curated fine art and design exhibitions in museums, galleries, art fairs, biennials, and public installations; to honor innovation and excellence in exhibition design, historical context, educational value, and public appeal; to develop the public’s interest and passion for fine art; and to further its educational role in society. She has achieved this by founding a nonprofit eligible to receive donations via the long-established arts service organization Fractured Atlas. The program is gaining awareness through a series of events that highlight its nominees and winners, hosted thus far in Miami, San Francisco, New York, and London.
One of GFAA’s broader goals is to remind the public that art holds the uniquely powerful capacity to bring the world’s people together. The latest crop of nominees — which reflects projects that opened to the public between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018 — will be announced publicly on Tuesday, October 9, at the National Arts Club in New York City. Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, and GFAA board member Betsie Piussan will reveal which exhibitions and installations from around the world are in the running for the 5th Annual GFAA Awards. Last year, after a formal review of more than 2,000 potential nominees, 85 nominees were selected from 28 countries across six continents. An equally diverse group of nominees is anticipated this year.
On October 9, GFAA will present three hours of TED Talk–style presentations offering intriguing expert perspectives on the art world. The speakers confirmed so far include:
- James McAndrew currently works for a top New York City law firm and previously headed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s International Art and Antiquity Theft Investigations Program and created the modern era Monuments Men (and women), who pursue criminals and recapture treasures.
- Leila Heller is a leading art dealer in the Middle East and New York; her roster of international artists includes the late Farideh Lashai, whose British Museum exhibition received a GFAA Honorable Mention last year.
- Eli Klein is a New York–based dealer in contemporary Chinese art who has thrived in this booming field for more than two decades.
- Jennifer Francis is a communications expert who has led the marketing efforts at several of the most prestigious museums in the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and most recently the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
- Heather MacDonald, PhD, is a senior program officer at the Getty Foundation, where she is responsible for grant-making related to advancing museum-based scholarship and education. The Foundation underwrote Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the groundbreaking initiative (2017–18) that encompassed more than 70 programs and exhibitions exploring the dialogues among Latin American art, Latino art, and Los Angeles.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, GFAA’s corporate sponsors and institutional partners will exhibit their products and services, allowing guests to learn more about their work. This open forum for networking will offer invaluable connections to prospective collaboration and provides the opportunity for educational learning.
Peter Trippi and Betsie Piussan will finish announcing all the nominees, who will then mingle with each other and other ticketed guests. All guests will enjoy an open bar and hors d’oeuvres while bidding on unique silent auction lots. Attire for the entire event (afternoon and evening) is business casual.
A Final Word about the Global Fine Art Awards
The sheer quantity of exhibitions mounted worldwide each year is literally countless, so inevitably GFAA’s process for determining nominees and winners will always be somewhat subjective, yet it does actually possess a degree of scientific rigor. A broad set of criteria is utilized to research and assess the prospective nominees, with continuous review of more than 50 sources of print and online editorial and critiques. Through them, more than 200 museums and 2,000 exhibitions are vetted by members of the Art Research Committee, who also offer personalized assessments based on their own exhibition viewing. In addition to the research-based nominations, GFAA accepts nominations from any member of the public.
The Nominating Committee reviews the slate prepared by the Art Research Committee, then presents its findings and final approvals to the judges. These judges modify and select the final slate of nominees, then vote on the finalists and winners. Geography, institutional size, and diversity of artists’ ethnicity and gender are essential considerations within the process. There is also a broad representation in size, with 40 percent of nominees drawn from the world’s 100 most heavily visited art museums and the remaining 60 percent from smaller institutions.