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Priority Access at Frieze Art Fair for BH Residents

Excitement has been building around Frieze Week in Beverly Hills, an event that is part of a much lauded international art show series that hosts fairs in London, New York, Korea and Los Angeles. The weeklong event includes Frieze’s signature art exhibition under a big top tent and other exhibits throughout the city. The icing on the cake for Beverly Hills residents is priority access.

Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to 11:59 pm, Beverly Hills residents will have exclusive priority booking for early bird tickets. Frieze is also offering residents a 15% discount and pre-approved applications on “Frieze 91,” an exclusive membership program that offers premiere access to fairs, studio visits, artist foundations and other events around the world. Membership perks for the Beverly Hills event include first VIP access for the Thursday Preview at the fair and access to the Frieze Week VIP program.

“We have previously extended special tickets to groups including students and artists, as well as guests of partner organizations and more,” Frieze’s Vice President of Communications Belinda Bowring told the Courier in an email. “Frieze aims to reach the broadest possible audience with our events.” 

The idea of offering perks to Beverly Hills residents was fielded by Beverly Hills City Councilmember John Mirisch at an Oct. 26 Council Study Session. During that session, Frieze presented event plans to the council ahead of a vote to approve more than $70,000 in fee waivers for the use of public resources. Resources included the Rodeo Drive median, Beverly Gardens Park, Greystone Mansion and the city trolley. Such waivers are normally granted to non profit groups like Sing for Hope which had its painted piano series displayed throughout the city in August and September.

“Maybe we look at either free or heavily discounted admission for Beverly Hills residents,” said Mirisch at the October meeting. “As much as I love arts and culture, as much as I think we need it in our city, as much as I actually in many ways take the lead to encourage it, if this is a for-profit enterprise, than I think we need to look at it in a very different way from something along the lines of Sing for Hope or Rachfest or any of these other things that are purely, as MGM would say, art for the sake of art.”

In addition to the priority given to Beverly Hills Residents, the City Council also lobbied Frieze for a name change. Frieze’s original pitch to the council was under the established brand of Frieze Los Angeles which hosted two events prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With gentle pushback from the City Council, Frieze compromised by moving forward with the name Frieze Los Angeles while agreeing to promote the local events as “Frieze Week in Beverly Hills.”

“The Frieze organization has graciously responded to City Council’s call in providing exclusive opportunities for our residents to participate in Frieze Week in Beverly Hills by offering these generous discounts,” Beverly Hills Community Services Director Jenny Rogers told the Courier in an email statement. “Frieze Week in Beverly Hills will also include community events that are free and open to the public to enjoy with the West Coast premiere of the Beverly Hills Sculpture Garden, a temporary sculpture installation, and site-specific dance performances at Greystone.”

The international contemporary art fair is expected to land in Beverly Hills Feb. 17-20. This will be the first time the city has worked with Frieze to bring temporary public art projects to Beverly Hills as well as a weeklong program of events to celebrate art and culture.

“I am excited that the city’s Arts and Culture Commission as well as our Community Services Department has worked hard to make this collaboration a reality,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Bob Wunderlich in a statement. “Beverly Hills is a City that has a deep history and appreciation of art and we look forward to welcoming everyone to experience exhibits and events in such a beautiful and iconic setting.”

Frieze Week in Beverly Hills will have its main fair take place at 9900 Wilshire Blvd., adjacent to The Beverly Hilton. Previous Frieze Los Angeles events began in 2019 and were hosted at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The pandemic forced organizers to cancel the event in 2021. They then had to relocate to Beverly Hills as social distancing guidelines and a filming backlog left outdoor space in short supply at Paramount.

When available, pre-sale tickets to the Beverly Hills event can be purchased by visiting http://www.frieze.com/presale. Frieze 91 memberships can be purchased using code COBH15 at http://www.frieze.com 

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