Designed with the adventurous nature of Bay Area art lovers in mind, the Fog Design+Art fair returns this week, with four days of exhibitions and conversations on the bill.
The sixth annual celebration brings together dozens of artists, designers, gallerists, curators, collectors and the public at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion to view, sell and discuss a wide range of creative work and ideas. This year’s edition takes place Jan. 17-Jan. 20.
Fog attendees — more than 10,000 visitors came last year — are inquisitive and community-minded, appreciate thought-provoking art and design and enjoy discussing it, the event’s organizers say.
“Over the course of the evolution of FOG, and from numerous conversations with our participating dealers, we have learned that Bay Area audiences are quite curious and conversational with dealers — something they don’t necessarily experience at other fairs,” says Douglas Durkin, a member of Fog’s volunteer steering committee, which conceived of the fair six years ago.
Durkin adds that, when selecting participating galleries, organizers seek “proposals that are different from what you might see elsewhere, that take a deep dive into a specific artist, or that bring together a body of works that you may not expect to see together.”
This year, 53 international galleries will present art and design booths, an all-time high.
Special programming, meanwhile, often relates to events, attractions or current social concerns in the Bay Area, Durkin says. Programs also feature appearances by esteemed artists.
These include video- and performance-art pioneer Joan Jonas, discussing her multimedia work and one of her main interests, the oceans, at 3 p.m. Thursday. During the fair, Jonas also performs “Moving Off the Land,” described as a “multi-layered tribute and poetic response to the power of the ocean,” at the Cowell Theater, and her installation “They Come to Us Without a Word” opens at Fort Mason’s Gallery 308.
Tom Sachs, whose ambitiously crafted machines reflect his interest in space travel, appears in conversation at 3 p.m. Saturday. Sachs’ NASA-inspired projects have (fictitiously, of course) sent women into the final frontier and discovered life on Mars. Adam Savage, of Savage Industries and “MythBusters,” joins him onstage.
Supergraphics pioneer and green architect Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, whose designs can be seen at the Sea Ranch community in Sonoma County, discusses her 70-year career at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Locally based artists Stephanie Syjuco and Nigel Poor discuss art and activism at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Additional speakers — appearing with curators and other figures from the visual arts community — include design dealer David Gill (1 p.m. Friday) and artists Catherine Wagner (3 p.m. Friday), Amie Siegel (12:30 p.m. Saturday) and Pae White (4:30 p.m. Saturday).
A sold-out preview gala on Wednesday benefits the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
IF YOU GO
Where: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., S.F.
When: 11 a.m to 7 p.m. Jan. 17-19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20
Tickets: $25 to $30