The South End, one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city of Boston, is the ideal spot to draw a community of people who appreciate and purchase various types of art, along with more than 40 galleries that offer it.

The pre-eminent event for Boston art lovers, collectors, gallery owners and artists - the Boston International Fine Art Show - happened this year from Oct. 24th-27th, lighting up the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. Boston Homes was once again one of the show’s sponsors.

The South End, one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city of Boston, is the ideal spot to draw a community of people who appreciate and purchase various types of art, along with more than 40 galleries that offer it.

The only show of its kind in Boston, this year’s edition, the 23rd annual, featured the most diverse, distinctive group of artists and galleries to date.

“It’s candy for the eyes,” proclaimed co-producer Tony Fusco of Fusco & Four.

“We love art,” he said. “We were dealers before we were producers.”

He reminisced about how the event got its start: “Some dealers got together and said, ‘Let’s do a show for the artists.’”

More than two decades later, in addition to Fusco & Four, there are two other dealers who exhibit every year, Martha Richardson Fine Art and Questroyal Fine Art.

When we spoke to Richardson, whose gallery is on Newbury Street, about her commitment to the show, she said, “We’ve been here every year for 23 years. My gallery is local. It’s a way to bring a selection and see people who I don’t always see at my gallery. It’s also a way for me to advertise what’s happening on Newbury Street. I always meet somebody who becomes a client.”

At the Questroyal Fine Art booth, director Chloe Heins delivered a similar message. “We love doing this show. We have a lot of good clients in the area. We enjoy the tradition of this show.”

The big weekend opened with a gala preview on Oct. 24. Guests were treated to a wide range of exquisite cuisine, fine wine and jazz by the Lihi Haruvi Quartet. The gala also gave people the opportunity to be among the first to select from the fine art available for purchase.

While the jazz quartet played, visitors from all parts of the city and beyond mingled at the gala. Karin Goodfellow, director of the Boston Art Commission, read a letter of welcome from Mayor Marty Walsh, adding her own message of inspiration for artists: “Think about getting involved in public art programs.”

Excitement at this year’s show was bolstered by the inclusion of up-and-coming artists in EMERGE, a new program that occupied a special section in the front of the hall, bringing freshness to the show. “They’re so strong,” said Fusco about the emerging talents, and added that he expects to see some of these artists in major collections in coming years. He told us that there was so much interest in the show among artists that it was a challenge to select the group that exhibited. “These artists are so talented. There were 25 more artists we could have chosen.”

The enthusiasm in the EMERGE salons was palpable, with artists eager to have the opportunity to promote their material. “They’re excited to be here,” Fusco said. “It’s a professional setting. The booths are small. It shows them at their best.”

Emerging artist Irina Gorbman, who lived for years in Seattle, exhibited color-filled abstract expressionist oil paintings that sometimes referenced the clouds of that city’s weather. She said, “Art is my meditation. It uplifts the energy. The beauty of abstract art is that you see what you want to see. It’s all about expressing feelings and energy.”

In the booth next to Gorbman’s, we spoke with Scott J. Morgan, a Vermont-based artist who also plays bass, harmonica and guitar. In addition to Morgan’s contemporary abstract expressionist canvases, he was showing a gorgeous Fender Stratocaster he had painted in his own style. Musicians commission him to create one-of-a-kind art pieces on guitars, which become playable collectors’ items. “It’s something I always wanted to do,” he said.

The show included on its agenda some special programs and guest speakers to inspire visitors and participants. Among the Friday sessions, What Has Your Gallery Done For You Lately? hosted by gallerist Michael Rose, examined what all artists should look for in their relationships with commercial galleries and art dealers.

A panel called Major Trends in the Art Market offered by Bank of America Private Bank examined the state of the art market and current trends in art collecting.

Saturday, three interior designers were booked to participate in a discussion called Living with Art, moderated by Joshua Rose, editor of American Art Collector and American Fine Art magazines. This panel gave art collectors advice on beautiful ways to incorporate fine art into their living spaces.

An exclusive look at the art market and the way art is valued was presented by Peter Hastings Falk in An Insider’s View on Valuing Art. Falk, the editor and chief curator of Discoveries in American Art, an online magazine, referenced several works of art on sale at the show.

A rainy Sunday was brought to life with a book launch and presentation by Eve M. Kahn. Kahn, the former New York Times Antiques columnist has a new book, Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Forgotten Impressionist Mary Rogers Williams, 1875-1907. Inspired by a discovery of the artist’s works and letters in a boathouse in Connecticut, Kahn discussed contributions made to the art world by undeservedly less-recognized female artists.

Also during the weekend, the restoration and repurposing clinic was back by popular demand. Trefler's, located in Newton, is the oldest comprehensive restoration company in the U.S. People were invited to bring photographs – not the actual objects – of their favorite furnishings, fine art and decorative objects that need to be restored or repurposed for a complimentary estimate from Trefler's experts.

The CAL Artworks (China Arts Link), a non-profit organization based in Boston and Beijing, had a special exhibition during the show. Its mission is to facilitate knowledge sharing in arts, business innovation and social change through conference, residency, exhibitions, performances and education programs. A wealth of cultural exchange programs features a wide variety of artists.

At this year’s International Fine Art show, artists and activists demonstrated that art is about more than aesthetics. By working together, they can also make it a strong force for social change.

This year’s Boston International Fine Art show was an achievement in the art of presenting art to the public. As Fusco said, “We know it’s going to be a lot of work. It takes hundreds of people to cooperate with us. But they all thrive on it. Boston’s a major city. It deserves to have its own art show.”