Conception Art Fair is the first female-owned and female-operated show at Miami Art Week (“Art Basel”). Founder of Conception Global Art Collective (who host over ten pop-up art shows in cities around the U.S.), Rachel Wilkins Blum, shares with us the history, vision, and beauty of being a trailblazer in the contemporary world of art shows.
Q: So since Conception Art Fair (CAF) is female-owned and operated, are all the artists women?
A: No! “Female owned and operated” doesn’t mean a Sylvia Plath pow-wow where we exclude all men!
Q: Is it all racial minorities and/or LGBT then?
A: Absolutely not! CAF is wholly committed to representing and showcasing artists of all backgrounds on equal footing. All races, all genders, all political views. What we’re interested in is art, with a purpose, with a passion. We’re giving a microphone to voices that have been ‘kept quiet’ for too long, but not taking away a platform away from any else. Any individual can feel marginalized regardless of perceived privilege.
Q: So straight white males can apply?
A: (laughing) Of course! Everyone is welcome at CAF.
Q: How political is Conception willing to allow?
A: Well, T.Rutt was one of our artists last year and had the Trump Campaign bus parked outside our space. He even had installation piece inspired by the Megyn Kelly bleeding from her ‘I don’t know where’ episode that included a four-poster bed and bloodied tampon tapestry.
Q: Were they used tampons?
A: Oh God no! They were simulated menstrually bloody!
Q: It’s funny to hear the word bloody said in an English accent without it being a curse word…
A: I’m sure!
Q: What criteria or guidelines do you have then to determine which artists can be in the CAF show?
A: We don’t have “rules of pedigree.” A core concept of our organization is that the art is to stand on its own. You can be an artist from the most laureled university programs or you can be self-taught, with no formal training and have your work next to each other at our CAF. Our bookers look for art, not resumes.
Q: What should patrons of CAF in Miami expect?
A: You shouldn’t expect anything. You should come with an open mind and let the art speak to you. We pride ourselves in a great variety of artwork, so you’ll likely connect with a piece you wouldn’t have expected to.
Conception Art Fair is from December 1 to December 4 at 31 NW 23rd Street, Miami, FL