A contemporary art fair, SCOPE was established in 2002. The first fair featured 28 booths of galleries representing emerging artists. The art fairs are now held annually in New York, Miami, East Hampton, London, and Basel, each presenting between 60 and 100 exhibitors. Total sales have now reached nearly $100 million and the number of visitors has exceeded 250,000. SCOPE now also includes ongoing events, educational programs, and the SCOPE Foundation 501(c) 3.
SCOPE was founded by artist and gallerist Alexis Hubshman and gallerist Peter Surace. The first art fair was held at New York’s Gershwin Hotel on May 10–13 May 2002. SCOPE began as an international exhibition of 28 galleries, curators, and art organizations. Each exhibitor featured one emerging artist. SCOPE planned to hold SCOPE New York annually and to possibly expand to other major cities. Daily events included a panel on the Harlem Renaissance, a Special Collectors’ Day, Cinema-SCOPE screenings of films and videos, and a day of performance art.
In 2004, SCOPE New York, on March 12–15 March at the Hotel Gansevoort, expanded to feature 65 international exhibitors and included the new Culture on the Verge Party to open the fair. In addition to the continuing Miami, New York, and Los Angeles fairs, SCOPE added a fair in London at the Melia White House in Regents Park on October 15–18 October 2004. This fair launched another new initiative, Performance-SCOPE.
In 2005, SCOPE included the Hamptons and Venice in its program. The first SCOPE Hamptons took place on July 15–17 July at Hampton Hall. Venice, a special project, featured artist Jason Hackensworth. SCOPE New York, Hamptons, London, and Scope Miami were held again in 2005 and 2006.
In 2007, SCOPE Basel was held for the first time at E-Halle on June 12–17. SCOPE New York, Hamptons and Miami were held as well. SCOPE New York moved to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, where it would remain the following year. Shuttles ran between SCOPE New York and Armory Show throughout the fairs.