VOLTA NY’s special programming drew considerable interest from visitors throughout the week. Musing on the week and the critical attention to the Wintercheck Factory Lounge that bisected some 700 feet of the fair midsection with Collection 700: RECEPTION, co-creator Kristen Wentrcek was contemplative. “I’ve always felt that, since our designs are not super colorful or cute, we typically don’t pull in interest from your average person. So instead of getting lots of Instagram posts and tons of people “liking” it, we get a small percentage of people who love it and want to talk about it.” Considering the sculptural quality of their works, which feature natural rubber combined with Corian and wire glass, Wentrcek was impressed with how many people actually used the pieces for what they were designed for: seating. “Plus kids are really into the rubber,” she added, “Maybe since they’re not allowed to touch anything else in the building?” Among the VOLTA Salon with artnet panel discussions, Saturday afternoon’s gathering “Shoot to Thrill: Picturing Identity in New York, 1977 – Now” between artists Janette Beckman, Krista Schueter, Joe Conzo, and the legendaries Bill Bernstein and Adrian “DJ Stretch Armstrong” Bartos, co-moderated by Adrian Loving and Vikki Tobak, easily attracted the largest crowd, with guests lingering afterward for Bartos’ co-signing of book No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988 – 1999 with Evan Auerbach in the VIP lounge, followed by Loving’s DJ set, which was an extension of local member’s only art social club ANOKO’s daily evening Art + Music programming. In addition to the live music, which ANOKO founder Shimite Obialo commented in the end “complimented the visual stimuli all around the fair”, was that somewhat rare combination of luxe furnishings — Article and Patrick Weder, with artistic direction by Julia Haney Montanez — thought-provoking art — Tim Okamura’s figurative series Begin Transmission, presented by ANOKO — extended artful dialogues with ANOKO staff and guests, plus the aforementioned live musical element, all of which, truthfully, made exquisite sense in the end. “People loved the concept of the ‘third space’,” Obialo explained, noting the progression of home (the first space) and work (the second space). “You have a place of community, creativity, and connectivity.”
A distinguished coterie of VIP guests attended VOLTA NY 2017 throughout the week, including: Carole Server and Oliver Frankel (New York); Steve Shane (New York); Reuben O. Charles II (Washington DC); Hubert Newmann (New York); Robert Drake (Netherlands); Thelma Golden (Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem); Dr. Vesela Sretenovic (Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Phillips Collection); Helyn Goldenberg (Sotheby’s Chicago); Nadine M. Orenstein (Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); Jaime DeSimone (Curator, MOCA Jacksonville) with MOCA Jacksonville Collector’s Circle members; Mary Birmingham (Dir. Visual Art Center of New Jersey); Jennifer McGregor (Director of Arts & Senior Curator, Wave Hill, the Bronx); Gabriel de Guzman (Curator of Visual Arts, Wave Hill, The Bronx); Tatjana Flores (curator/professor, Rutgers University); Rocío Aranda-Alvarado (Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York); representatives from the Nasher Museum (Washington D.C.); members of Philadelphia Art Museum; Roberta Waddell, Independent curator (Curator of Prints at The New York Public Library, retired); Charlotta Kotik, Independent curator (Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, retired); Sarah Tanguy (Curator, ART in Embassies); Margaret Winslow (Curator of Contemporary Art, Delaware Art Museum); curators from Tatar Art Projects (Toronto); Bleu Cease (Executive Director and Curator, Rochester Contemporary Art Center); Josephine Kelliher (curator, Dublin); Knight Landesman (Publisher, Artforum); Sophie Turner (actress) and Joe Jonas (musician); Lee Ranaldo (artist and musician); among many other distinguished guests and art-lovers.