In spite of the optimism some expressed at
"July was a good month, whereas August is slower," said
"It's too humid to be thinking of going gallery hopping in
This summer has been particularly slow, she added.
"I'm seeing less tourists,"
"We opened in July and it was quite slow ... It's the same [as last year]," she added.
"We have two periods during the year that are very slow, February and June/July ... That's the reason we close in August."
"To be very honest there has been a lot less traffic this year from people coming from abroad ... much, much, much less than usual," founder of Agial Art Gallery Saleh Barakat told
"Nonetheless, I am not really a gallery that counts on passersby and those who are interested in my kind of artists, which are niche artists, are coming, so it was a fine summer. I'm not complaining."
By contrast, Noha Moharram, the founder of Gemmayzeh-based gallery Art on 56th, said that, while slower than last year, this summer had brought in numerous tourists.
"It's really been an amazing summer," she said. "We've seen a lot of new people, mainly expat Lebanese who want to come and invest in Middle Eastern art ... We saw this change directly after the
While most of her collectors are Lebanese expats, rather than Gulf tourists, she said, the increase in Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian tourists has meant that business picked up this summer after a lackluster first half of the year.
"We had a few collectors who saved the market," she continued. "They bought a few pieces, just simple things ... This year was a disaster compared to last year, but since July it's been a bit better."
Khater too, says that while sales have not been booming, a significant number of tourists visited "Bridge to Palestine," a collective show Hachem curated at the Beirut Exhibition Center from
"There were between 70 and 100 people a day visiting the Beirut Exhibition Center," she said. "I wasn't expecting that because it was
"We had a good opening -- not as much as I would have liked, but people did come out -- and then a few days later
An increase in tourist traffic doesn't necessarily correspond to an increase in sales, however, particularly for more established venues such as the
"We normally schedule an exhibition in the summertime," said founder
"Of course it affected our work a lot. Mounira [
"We have no government, firstly," she said. "Second, ISIS didn't exist a year ago as it does now. Last year the Syrian border was almost safe. I went to Baalbek. Now you can't go to Baalbek. I guess that the situation now is much worse than a year ago ...
"Last summer was a lot better than this summer," she continued, "although we were [exhibiting] during
"Those who were abroad did not come. So we had a very, very quiet opening. It was sad for us."
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