Art fair aims to get a jump on its competitors with early start, national outreach & VIP perks
Texas Contemporary Art Fair organizers Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause are already busy prepping the groundwork in Houston for the third installment of their popular art fair, which will run from Oct. 10 to 13 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
"We'll be in Texas on a fairly regular basis through the fall," Fishko told CultureMap in a recent interview at Triniti, where he and Wainhause entertained more than 50 key players from the local art scene. (Check out Shelby Hodge's rundown of the event.)
"Our past few years here have been extremely successful. People in Houston have really shown their support and we want to maintain the relationship. Art fairs are only great when they're an effort of the whole city, not when they're staged like yearly conventions."
"Art fairs are only great when they're an effort of the whole city, not when they're staged like yearly conventions."
While their two earlier productions have attracted mainly regional crowds, Wainhause said that he and his staff are broadening their national outreach for the upcoming fair, hoping to better acquaint collectors from across the country with Houston's active art market.
As far as major changes are concerned for the upcoming show, attendees can expect to find two large VIP lounges, one of which will be designed by Kelie Mayfield and Erick Ragni of Houston's MaRS design studio. The West Collection — an innovative Philadelphia firm with holdings from some of the biggest names in contemporary art — has been contracted to loan large-scale installation pieces.
In other news, Texas Contemporary has gained two more noted area gallerists with the addition of Barbara Davis and Devin Borden, both of whom have exhibited works with the rival Houston Fine Art Fair in the past. A representative from Davis' gallery said they planned to only show at Texas Contemporary this year. Devin Borden told CultureMap it remains unclear whether he will exhibit at both fairs.
"We definitely get more and more gallery applications each year," Fishko said. "The show will remain the same size with more or less 70 exhibitors, which means the selection process is definitely getting more competitive."
Though a final exhibitor list won't be finalized until late summer, Fishko and Wainhause did mention returning Houston galleries like Inman and Texas Gallery as well as major New York galleries such as Fredericks & Freiser, P.P.O.W. and Mixed Greens. Also noted were Misako & Rosen from Tokyo and Lora Reynolds from Austin.