David and Lee Ann Lester, founders of International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE) have been the pioneers of the Florida art fair market, establishing Art Miami in January, 1991, The Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair (now American International Fine Art Fair AIFAF) in 1997, and Art Palm Beach in 1998. They have organized more than 65 international art fairs worldwide in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas and Hong Kong.
In 2009, the Lesters resumed ownership of the two Palm Beach fairs, acquired the historically favorable January art fair dates at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and in 2010 presented the first edition of MIA – Miami’s new January contemporary art fair. In 2009, IFAE entered into a joint venture with Clarion Events to serve as the partners and executive management of the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, now re-branded as the London International Fine Art Fair at Olympia. Most recently they have announced plans for the Naples International Art and Antique Fair and Art Naples in 2011.
In this conversation with Bettina Krogemann, David Lester talks about how he and his wife became art fair organizers, the history of the American International Fine Art Fair AIFAF, the London International Fine Art Fair at Olympia, their plans with the SeaFair, what makes a fair a successful one, and IFAE’s plans for the future. This video is an excerpt, the full-length version is available below.
Interview with David Lester at the VIP Lounge of the American International Fine Art Fair 2010. February 3, 2010.
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Interview with art fair organizer David Lester at AIFAF 2010 (complete interview, 11:51 Min.):