Updated Aug. 10: In an email from Dallas Art Fair Director Kelly Cornell, which confirmed the cancellation, she writes “We regret that we must cancel this year’s Dallas Art Fair, which had been rescheduled from April 2020 to October 2020. This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but with the high number of Covid-19 cases in Texas and global travel restrictions, we have to put the safety of our dealers and collectors first.”
Further, Artnews reportedly received a statement from Cornell in which she states that galleries would not be receiving refunds for booth fees already paid. “We are working with each gallery individually and offering credits towards future fairs,” she said. “We are an independently owned business and the fair was timed so close to the pandemic’s outbreak in the U.S. that our vendors had already been paid and we are operating at a significant loss. We are incredibly sorry we have had to make this decision and we hope we can work through this with each gallery one-on-one.”
Aug. 4: New York-based art newsletter The Canvas has reported that the Dallas Art Fair (DAF), which was postponed last April and rescheduled for October 1-4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been canceled for 2020. The fair conducted a live auction on its originally scheduled dates of April 16-19, reportedly raising $3 million in sales, and encouraging organizers to launch Culture Place, an ongoing online fair model, last month.
The Canvas also reports that two art dealers spoke with them anonymously, to say that, “they had been emailing the fair repeatedly since mid-April to request that their exhibiting fees be returned. According to these dealers though, organizers simply responded with vague assurances that the fair would proceed on the rescheduled dates in October and made no promises regarding the status of their exhibiting fees.”
Glasstire has reached out to the DAF director Kelly Cornell via email for confirmation of the cancellation, and as of this writing there’s been no response. However, The Canvas reports that they received a statement in which Cornell states: “We regret that we must cancel this year’s Dallas Art Fair, which had been rescheduled from April 2020 to October 2020. This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but with the high number of Covid-19 cases in Texas and global travel restrictions, we have to put the safety of our dealers and collectors first.” In a follow up from Canvas regarding refunding galleries their exhibiting fees, the DAF reportedly responded “that it will return April 15-18, 2021 and that the fair “is working with each gallery at this time as we look towards future editions.”
Glasstire also reached out to Bill Campbell of Fort Worth’s William Campbell Contemporary Art, a regular DAF exhibitor who stated via text: “I was told there was no way they could have the event at FIG (Fashion Industry Gallery) in Dallas this year.” Campbell also believes that DAF may host a more local to Texas version of the fair elsewhere in the city.
In addition to the cancellation news, The Canvas newsletter disclosed that Brandon Kennedy, Head of Exhibitor Relations at DAF, resigned last week, a fact that Kennedy confirmed in a direct message to Glasstire. Kennedy stated that his last day at DAF was July 31, and that he will be joining the commercial space Galerie Frank Elbaz as a partner in the gallery’s Dallas location in September.
Glasstire will continue to follow the developments to this story and update as necessary.
For more on the Dallas Art Fair, please visit its website here.