International Fine Art Expositions’ megayacht, SeaFair, is docked tonight at 2 Marina Plaza in Sarasota. Located near Marina Jack’s, the 228-foot $40 million vessel lowers its gangplank and opens its doors tomorrow for the 2nd Annual Art Sarasota Festival that runs March 30-April 2, 2012. It’s just a short drive up the coast for those southwest Florida art lovers who did not get enough of the exquisite paintings, photography, tapestries, sculpture and glass art that IFAE brought to the area as part of Art Naples Contemporary Art Fair and Naples International Art & Antique Fair.
Last year’s event attracted 18,000 visitors and an overwhelming response. “This is the most exciting thing to happen to Sarasota since Ringling brought the circus,” effused Brad Goddard of PNC Wealth Management and a co-sponsor of the 2012 Preview Party, which will benefit the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA).
SeaFair is the world’s first floating art venue and one of the ten largest privately-owned yachts in the United States. Groundbreaking in scale, ingenuity and style, the yacht pairs international fine art, jewelry and collectables with harbor-view dining and special events in the cities where SeaFair docks.
Twenty-Eight presitigious galleries will participate in the 2nd Annual Art Sarasota Festival, which will also feature a number of special artist exhibitions and receptions, as well as cocktail parties and music on the sky deck.
Designed by internationally-acclaimed designer Luis De Basto, SeaFair is the largest ship built for commercial operation in shallow waters such as Florida’s network of intracoastal waterways. The ship requires a draft of only 6.5 feet, allowing it to dock at small yacht facilities in central city locations rather than large, fullscale commercial ports.
“It is festive and elegant,” remarks former Metropolitan Museum curator Joanne Olian. “When you’re aboard, it’s very conducive to buying because you feel like you’re really away and on holiday.”
Fair hours are noon to 7 p.m. March 30 – April 2, but the sky deck will remain open until 9 p.m. giving attendees a couple of additional hours to enjoy music, cocktails and the panoramic view of Sarasota Bay.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 for a single-day ticket, $25 for a multi-day ticket, and $30 for a Priority Boarding ticket. A limited number of reduced price tickets are available in advance on the SeaFair website at www.expoships.com.
For more information on exhibitors, events and programming, please visit the Fair website at http://www.expoships.com/current_fairs/2012/sarasota/about.html.