Hopefully something can be worked out. Rumours abound. Some theorize the city may step in, since the fair is such a tourist/moneymaking event. The story repeatedly being kicked around is that there is a labor dispute and the union has not been paid. Therefore the tent cannot be completed. Thus there has been a discussion that a new venue is being sought. A Tribune story from 12:45pm stated trucks filled with art arrived today only to find the tent with no erected walls and floor. One art mover was told there would be a new location, but not what that location might be.
Artnet has this to say:
"ART CHICAGO IN TROUBLE
Two things seem certain about this year’s installment of Art Chicago in the Park, slated to run Apr. 28-May 1, 2006, with a gala preview on Thursday, Apr. 27 -- it’s not opening on Thursday and it’s not going to be in the park. Thomas Blackman Associates was expecting some 125 galleries for the show -- and had collected $1 million in advance fees, according to one source -- but unspecified financial difficulties have thrown the fair off course. As we go to press, Art Chicago is exploring its options, and hopes to find a new backer for the fair and a new site, which could conceivably be Navy Pier. "Five hundred teamsters could put it up in a day for $350,000," said one Chicago observer. Stay tuned."
MONDAY NITE/TUESDAY MORNING: At this late hour it seems the worst has been confirmed. Art Chicago in the Park 2006 is not to be.
This is unthinkable. Art or Idiocy? can only offer our sympathy to all the dealers, galleries, artists, travelers and collectors affected by this. Especially Thomas Blackman and Associates. No matter what bad blood one has, it would be hard to not feel at least a little empathy. One can only hope that by some miracle the show goes on.
It is now Nova or nothing. Hopefully there will be a silver lining to this decidedly dark spring.