Bay Area’s big art fair at Fort Mason this weekend  

Art Market San Francisco, one of the Bay Area’s biggest showcases of contemporary art, returns to Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s Festival Pavilion from April 21-23. (Courtesy AMP)

Art Market San Francisco is underway at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, with dozens of local, national and international contemporary and modern art galleries sharing and selling their wares this weekend.  

Presented by Art Market Productions and directed by Kelly Freeman, this year’s event is the 11th edition, which organizers call the longest running art fair in the Bay Area. 

With some 85 returning and newcomer galleries participating, the fair’s programming also includes public projects curated by Nato Thompson, a Philadelphia author, curator and self-described “cultural infrastructure builder.”  

Among them is “Contemporary Histories,” a collection of multi-disciplinary works from 12 Bay Area galleries not otherwise represented at Art Market. Presented by San Francisco Art Dealers Association, the project is curated by Danny Sanchez, associate director at Themes+Projects gallery in San Francisco, 

Another public project is San Francisco artist Holly Wong’s 2023 “Body of Light,” a large work made with silk, cotton, organza and LED lighting, presented by Slate Contemporary gallery. Wong was inspired by “the permeable separation between the living and dead” in creating the quilted piece using reflective, transparent material.   

The weekend also features activities and lectures on varied topics sponsored by local museums as well as nonprofit and governmental arts groups.  

“Art That Transports: Highlights from the Central Subway Public Art Collection,” presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission, is at 2 p.m. Saturday in Fort Mason’s theater. Artists Leslie Shows, Amanda Hughen (Hughen/Starkweather) and Yumei Hou, with SFAC Public Art Director Mary Chou, offer a behind-the-scenes look at how art for San Francisco’s new subway, which connects the city’s southeast area with downtown and Chinatown, was created and procured for Yerba Buena-Moscone, Union Square-Market Street and Chinatown-Rose Pak stations. 

On Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., the Museum of Craft and Design hosts the free “Mobile MakeArt: Crafting a Bay Area Life” in the pavilion’s outdoor area. Visitors of all ages who have purchased fair admission are invited into the crafty van, where they’ll find materials and ideas for creating custom wearables.  

Art Market continues 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 21-22 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 at Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco. One-day tickets cost $35; a three-day pass is $65. Visit for details.  

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