Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Be sure to check the comments section, as people have been posting updates as they hear them. As of 5:30pm 4/25/6, the Art Chicago press agent had no news on the future of the fair. Whether or not the fair is moving is unclear. Whether or not it is even taking place is unclear.

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.

Trib Story


Artnet has this to say:

    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.


Anonymous said...

Just drove by Butler Field. A half-built tent and NO WORK GOING ON AT ALL. NO ONE THERE!

I feel certain the show will NOT happen at the park... and the logistics of moving in at 2 days notice...

These things take at least a year to plan.

Dark, dark day for art in Chicago...

Anonymous said...

This is what I got from their publicist:

HI Holland -- We are in the midst of confirming the facts, but there may
be a change of venue for Art Chicago this year. I will let you know
further details ASAP. Thanks. Betsy

Betsy Brennan
The Silverman Group, Inc.
One East Superior Street, Suite 405
Chicago, IL 60611
P: 312.932.9954
F: 312.932.9951
W: www.silvermangroupchicago.com

Bad at Sports

See you at NOVA I guess.

Anonymous said...

The story has been picked up by WBBM and the trib.

Anonymous said...

Bad at Sports has heard lots and lots of rumor, bailouts failed, unions pissed off, payments missed, gallerists asked for $$$.

However, so far as we can see there is nothing solidly fact based at this point beyond the fact that there were a lot of baffled art shipping truck showing up with no activity at their destination.

NOVA should be jumping, as should Version fest and the Info Expo.



Jason said...

Merchandise Mart? How appropriate...