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ARTBO: Bogotá’s most important international art fair

The official ARTBO logo for 2019
María Montes

María Montes

I'm a social anthropologist working in marketing and I'm passionate about food, traveling to big cities and dogs. I like being that person everyone comes for recommendations especially if it is in Bogotá, a city I love dearly and where I been living intermittently for over 12 years. Instagram: @mariaisaturtle

ARTBO is a space for cultural exchange that centers around the promotion of the arts in the country. For 4 days, this fair will gather national and international galleries, artists, curators and art enthusiasts in the same space to promote commercial activities around the most relevant forms of art in Colombia. 

Since 2004, Bogotá’s Chamber of Commerce has been organizing the International Fair of Art of Bogotá (ARTBO). Through the years, this event has been growing exponentially by keeping a selected amount of guest galleries, with some commercial and non-commercial spaces for all viewers. Due to the quality of this event, it has become one of Latin America’s most important art fairs and this year will be its 15th-year celebration.

What to expect

This year ARTBO will open its doors to the public from September 19th to 22nd at Corferias, Visitors from all over the world should expect to see over 3,000 art pieces from 26 cities in 67 galleries. 

One of the rooms at ARTBO
© Photograph by David Vargas on Flickr.com

How it works

The concept of the fair is fairly easy to understand. The main room (Salón Principal) is dedicated to the business aspect of the fair, gathering all the national and international galleries in one room to showcase their artists and proposals. Among some of the national galleries attending this year are Beatriz Esguerra Arte, Galería Beta, and Galería la Cometa. Some of the international galleries invited come from places like France, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Turkey, Argentina, and Spain. 

One of the exhibitions in 2018)
© Photograph by ARTBO on Flickr.com

The project room (Proyectos) is dedicated to those artists that have the commercial representation of an art gallery and have been selected by a curator to showcase their art. This year, 6 artists were selected for this purpose. The referents room (Referentes) explores the work of different artists that redefined the concept of contemporary art. There is also a room called sitio, which its main focus is to display non-conventional art formats where visitors can experience a different type of emotion while interacting with the pieces. The forum room (Foro), offers an educational space for the discussion of topics related to contemporary art. 

There are also other rooms like Artecámara, that promote young local talent, Libro de artista,  dedicated exclusively to editorial projects, and Articularte which is an interactive space that looks to promote the participation and understanding of contemporary art practices. 

The conversations in the forum ARTBO room
© Photograph by ARTBO CO on Flickr.com

To keep in mind

The fair opens its doors from noon to 8 pm every day and the tickets can be purchased at the venue entrance. The general ticket costs $9.48 USD/$32,000 COP, but students only pay $4.44 USD/$15,000 COP to get in. There is also a food court with some of the most important restaurants in town like Crepes & Waffles, Home Burgers and Amor Perfecto.  To arrive at the venue, I suggest you take Uber or Transmilenio and get off at the station called “Corferias”; there is only a 15 – minute walk from there.  

The ARTBO show opening in 2018
© Photograph by Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá on Flickr.com

Without a doubt, ARTBO Bogotá is one of the coolest and most interesting fairs this city has to offer, and even if you are not an “expert” in these particular topics, you should give it a try and perhaps learn a thing or two about contemporary artists! If you are into trying different things and attending big fairs and events, I advise you to check out Expo Vinos, San Felipe Open or Feria Buró.

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