Monday, May 16, 2016


Dallas Art fair - Works by Gianpietro Carlesso at Ronchini
Dallas Art fair - Works by Gianpietro Carlesso at Ronchini

repost of article.

The Dallas Art Fair broke records in attendance this year. It sounds like sales were fair, but with such a record audience, hopefully several new collectors were born. I know I saw little booklets filled with contact information from most of the gallery booths. Some bought at the fair, but it looks like many others will be thinking about buying in the future. I was talking to a few local gallerist last weekend and most agreed that the contacts generated from a fair eventually pays off, that is if a fair has high attendance.

Dallas Art Fair is all about Dallas. Unlike some larger fairs, flyins from international art buyers is not a real factor at play. Sure, the fair’s reputation is growing, but it is still mainly a local affair. The growing public attending is there for the spectacle, but a healthy percentage haven’t crossed over to collecting. It is not as if Dallas doesn’t have the money to support a fair, but rather more serious collectors have to be created in order to feed the artists, galleries, and other cultural institutions. Art collecting can be a bit scary, especially with such high asking prices some artworks command. However, I think with a little more time and education of the public, Art Week will not only be a spectacle, but also a source for the art market locally and internationally to profit.

So, how can the fair and art week get even bigger. If the fair moves out of the f.i.g. to a larger venue, more galleries could exhibit and also larger installations could be shown. Yet, much of the charm that is the f.i.g. Building would be lost. In the past, a few small satellite art fairs have popped up, but these small fairs never seem to repeat. I visited the local galleries during the fair and I didn’t see a lot of visitors to the spaces. Maybe a two part fair with national galleries and then local galleries. I would go to see both. What I miss at the Dallas Art Fair and what I saw at the Houston fairs is the booths for art non-profits. I think this kind of outreach would further educate the public to the rich, local visual art culture. This would also help galleries from out of town meet local curators. I would also like to see more local and international art media presence. These magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites are part of the food chain that will help people get excited about seeing art, but also educate people about art collecting as well. I understand booths are at a premium, but a spillout on the lawn and around the waterfall at the f.i.g. surely could be made available for the press.

I am happy that some collectors opened their homes to the public for tours. A few galleries and art spaces had events during the weekend. Most places were free to visit, however, it would be nice if all places in the visual arts around town where free, at least during art week. Announcements for awards could be done during or just before Art Week in order to further build excitement. For example, Art on Henderson finalist were announced on April 4th, which is a week before Art Week. I am sure there are hundreds of great ideas just waiting to be tried. I encourage anyone that want to help put DFW on the map next year to start preparing now. Make Art Week international news next year.

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