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Dallas Art Fair: A Few Post-Consumer Thoughts


by Brad Ford Smith 4 Feb 2010

Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas artist and arts conservationist. On Friday at 11 a.m. the doors will open for the second annual Dallas Art Fair. But as I write this, it’s 10p.m. on a Wednesday night, so I thought I would share some thoughts about last year’s Dallas Art Fair … Simply […]

CTA TBD

Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas artist and arts conservationist.

On Friday at 11 a.m. the doors will open for the second annual Dallas Art Fair. But as I write this, it’s 10p.m. on a Wednesday night, so I thought I would share some thoughts about last year’s Dallas Art Fair …

Simply stated, the 2009 Dallas Art Fair was the best survey of contemporary art that I’ve seen in this city to date. I attended all three days of the art fair, because it seemed obvious that a gathering of artwork of this caliber was worth the $20 ticket price. And also, because it was possibly the only time I might ever see some of these works of art before they’re snatched up by private collectors and hidden indefinitely from public view. Based on the tremendous turnout, it was especially energizing to see confirmation that Dallas is really maturing into something of an art mecca.

Last year’s galleries represented a wide spectrum of artists, materials and approaches with perhaps too heavy a focus on works by Donald Sultan and David Bates. The fair was also filled with artwork that was being actively reviewed in national and international art magazines. And of course there were a few galleries that handled older blue chip artists such as Warhol, Motherwell, and Calder. I fell in love with this 5X7″ oil painting by Thomas Hart Benson. It was a study for his 1938 masterpiece The Rape of Persephone. It’s probably now hanging in some mansion that overlooks an 18 hole golf course…

OK, enough about 2009. From the press releases about the 2010 Dallas Art Fair and the list of participating galleries, I expect that this year will again be the best survey of contemporary art I have ever seen in this city to date.

Here are the facts so far:

  • The Dallas Art Fair is located just a block west of the DMA at 1807 Ross Ave.
  • It runs Feb. 5-7. Friday: 11 a.m. -7 p.m., Saturday 11-7 p.m., Sunday 11-5 p.m.
  • There are a total of 56 galleries in attendance. Sixteen are from Texas, nine of those are from North Texas. The remaining 40 galleries are nationally recognized galleries from New York, San Francisco, Santa Fe and even a few from London.
  • The tickets are still only $20 each

One last thing: in 2009, the three-day Dallas Art Fair drew in 5500 art loving patrons. Each of those people are responsible for this art fair coming back in 2010. The only way that art fairs of this quality can happen in Dallas is if you participate. By attending the Dallas Art Fair, you are casting a vote that says you want to see more cultural events like this in Dallas.

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