Hamptons Expo Group Founder Rick Friedman Sells Art Fair Empire

Hamptons Expo Group founder Rick Friedman

With the close of the recent Houston Fine Art Fair this past Saturday, comes news that Rick Friedman, founder of Hamptons Expo Group (HEG), has sold Houston and his roster of fairs—including ArtAspen, ArtHamptons, and the Palm Springs Fine Art—to Atlanta-based Urban Expositions.

“After 25 years in the business, the last nine as CEO of HEG, I’m ready to step back, offering my expertise as a consultant, and see what might be achieved next,” Friedman told Artnet News in an email.

No information was given about the acquisition price or the structure of the transaction.

The Houston Fine Art Fair. Photo by Monica Kressman

The Houston Fine Art Fair.
Photo by Monica Kressman

Urban Expositions bills itself as an events producer and organizer based in the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, Georgia; it recently partnered with U.K.-based Clarion Events, and now manages 40 shows in the U.S., from the roving Halloween and Party Expo to Aviation, Foodservice, Pet and Gaming endeavors.

Among their existing art-related events is SOFA Chicago, which principals Doug Miller and Tim von Gal acquired in 2013 with the intention of growing Urban’s involvement in art fairs.

Doug Miller, principal of Urban Expositions.

Doug Miller, principal of Urban Expositions.

In describing the deal, Friedman said “it was my impression that Urban Expositions presented the international scope and depth of resources to steward the fairs in these markets and further develop their potential.”

 Related Coverage:

Silicon Valley Fair Debuts In Spring

Art Goes Well Beyond The Beach at Art Hamptons 2015

A Contemporary Art Fair In Silicon Valley?

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