48th Art Fair: Friends and Family Came Together for a Day of Artistic Appreciation

The Art Fair, held every November at the American School Foundation, is one of most anticipated events each year by the community. The 48th edition of this traditional event was launched in 2017 with style and confidence, gathering friends, families, faculty, alumni and students for a day of artistic appreciation.

The theme for this year's Art Fair was Utopia, which Pat Patterson, M.F.A and K-12 Visual Arts spoke about from an interesting point of view.

"Our students understand the need for utopian thinking, we have to try to make a better world, no matter how crazy an idea might seem, it just might be worth promoting. Children have the innocence and clear vision to become the authors of an ideal future, without the doubts and hesitation that history and skepticism burdens us with. If you ask a child to "draw a better world," they will do it, whether or not it makes sense or is plausible to the adult world. They are the new leaders and we should follow their example; paint a flower on the side of a VW bus and keep dreaming," suggested Pat.

As always, the Art Fair remained highly impressive in its scope and ambition. The 48th Art Fair bustled with activity, with over 100 emerging and professional artists selling art in the School's gardens, an art exhibit created by K-12 and IB Arts Program students and Performing Arts presentations by K-12 students.

This year the Art Fair surprised guests with an additional gallery put together by The Parent Association and the Alumni Council. The "Made in ASF" exhibition was curated to celebrate world-renowned Alumni Artists that extend over a period of 70 years, from class of 1947 to class of 2017. The exhibit came to life in the Hojel Schumacher Gallery in the Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center, displaying a wide range of techniques and styles. The gallery was inaugurated with a special cocktail gathering family and friends.

"When we began planning the Art Fair we decided that we should do something to join the celebration of the 130 years of ASF. ASF has always promoted art and creativity in its students, so we thought that a great way to celebrate would be to honor and recognize the Alumni who have become successful artists. The idea was to show what ASF has given to the world of the Arts at large," explained Ana Elena Pérez, President of the Parent Association.

"In creating this gallery, we had the participation of ASF Alumni in the Art Fair to a greater extent than in previous years, along with former teacher Adele Goldschmied. Through this gallery, we hope to achieve a greater connection between the present ASF community and the previous generations throughout our history, to value what ASF has given us and for our current students to visualize what they can achieve in the future and show them that they will always have a link with all Alumni no matter what generation they belong to," added Ana Elena.

As tradition rules, the Art Fair celebrated its Student Artist of the Year. This year, Erik Daniels ('17) was the talented winner of the award. Mr. Leo Trías, Upper School Art & Ceramics Teacher, who taught Erik since he was five years old, spoke to Focus Online about the emerging artist's work.

"Erik is an extremely creative and motivated young man, in upper school he created Guitars and Totems, a passion we both shared. Dedication and determination had always been driving forces for his Art. Another interesting side to his work is unveiled through an incredible passion for the Huichol Culture, and Mexico as a whole. Some pieces he developed with the use of chaquiras, (glass beads) applying bead by bead with amazing patience. I found it remarkable that he is honestly searching for his own spirituality while creating his own piece," stated Leo.

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Guests were able to enjoy a Food Court presented by the Upper School Students Clubs and meals from sponsoring restaurants around the city as well as on-the-go snacks sold by the Lower School Student Council.

The atmosphere came to life with presentations organized by Stephanie Brownie, Performing Arts Coordinator, including choir, drama, band and orchestra presentations, with students from all divisions.

Overall, the 48th Art Fair offered an impressive range of high-quality works, complemented by carefully curated exhibitions, workshops for children and food and music. It remains a serious event for the community, opening doors for ASF students and alumni within the Arts, and a chance for them to pursue their passions.