The influence of art fairs on the market and artists has grown in the last few years as evidenced by the avalanche of sales reports and news articles exploring the subject. Art fairs are a type of annual trade show that connects dealers, galleries, and buyers for transactions, collaborations, and constructive schmoozefests.

Presented Nov. 30 by the South Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in cooperation with the Intellectual Property and Federal Litigation Sections, the vibrant Art Law & Litigation Conference in Miami, Florida will methodically investigate the art fair planning process as well as the ways in which new ideas and invaluable alliances are formed. Register by Friday, Oct. 21 to take advantage of the early bird discount at www.fedbar.org/artlaw16.

Judge Helen Allen, the Founder of Pulse Art Fair, will moderate a scintillating discussion titled, “Impact of Art Fairs on the Market and Artists.” Panelists include artist David Brooks; attorney Vivek Jayaram from the Jayaram Law Group; and Omar Lopez-Chahoud, the Founder and Director of UNTITLED ART Fair. This seminar will survey the logistics of organizing, executing and managing compliance, licensing, permits, government regulation and tax issues associated with art fairs.

There are large international art fairs like the Armory in New York City, Frieze London, and Art Basel Miami Beach as well as smaller shows that introduce hundreds and sometimes thousands of visitors to an artist’s work. Art fairs have evolved into one of the premier ways for galleries and artists to elevate their profiles and present their creativity to dealers, collectors, journalists, art advisers, curators, and agents.

The interaction between a client and a dealer, whether at a brick and mortar gallery or art fair, may be the start of a legally binding relationship. Along with the rise and popularity of art fairs is the emergence of complex legal and ethical issues. Some topics that will be studied and addressed at the Art Law & Litigation Conference include:

  • Which statements or acts at an art fair becomes part of the bargain?
  • How do warranties of title and authenticity operate at an art fair?
  • Could ready-made, boilerplate contracts be used to spell out terms at the art fair regarding title, condition, insurance, authenticity, export restrictions and payment?
  • Whose jurisdiction laws apply in disputes over art purchased at an art fair?
  • What fiduciary duties are involved between event organizers, artists, gallery owners and buyers?

The Art Law & Litigation Conference is a rare opportunity for the legal, business and art worlds to become more aware of and involved in matters affecting artists and the arts community. The “Impact of Art Fairs on the Market and Artists” is a chance to explore the myriad ways—curatorial, promotional, archival, philanthropic, social and financial—that art fairs serve the public, the artist and the gallery. Register for the Art Law Conference at www.fedbar.org/artlaw16 and follow the FBA’s new blog at blog.fedbar.org!


Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, patent, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations and social media campaigns.