The Ninth Annual Dallas Art Fair

This was the ninth year for the Dallas Art Fair (DAF), and it is evident the art world wants a slice of what Dallas has to offer.  I say it each year – this fair is a great opportunity for both collectors and art aficionados to see and purchase some of the best in modern and contemporary art from all over the world.

This year the Fashion Industry Gallery, which has hosted the fair since its inception, welcomed over 90 galleries; a third of those galleries were exhibiting for the first time with DAF.   

"No. 73, 2017" by Derek Fordjour, selected by the DMA through the Acquisition Program

"No. 73, 2017" by Derek Fordjour, selected by the DMA through the Acquisition Program

The allure of the fair, and its strength to pull in galleries and artists from all over the world, is a combination of things; just the right mix of integral elements mingling together to make a powerhouse event.  One of those elements is the DAF’s connection and collaboration with the Dallas museums.

Last year the fair announced the Dallas Art Fair Acquisition Program.  In association with the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), the program gifted DMA $50,000 to purchase work by artists exhibiting at the fair.  This year the program doubled, utilizing a $100,000 budget to purchase works by artists Katherine Bradford, Derek Fordjour, Justin Adian, Andrea Galvani, Matthew Wong, and Summer Wheat.

Gavin Delahunty, the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, led the group that selected the artworks purchased through the program again this year.  “In what was a exciting afternoon with DMA colleagues and our generous donors, we acquired seven works by six outstanding artists,” Delahunty stated.  “The selection reflects the outstanding quality of work at the fair this year and its increasingly global attitude.” 

The city itself is another key element; Dallas is a city committed to the arts.  Important collectors, prominent Museums, and the local galleries supporting the fair by attending year after year, shows Dallas as an art community dedicated to establishing the city firmly on the map of art world hot spots.  That dedication and loyalty is why the DAF has been, and will continue, to be such a success.

"Dessert Buffet" by Robert C. Jackson

"Dessert Buffet" by Robert C. Jackson

"Scattering Ashes, 2017" by Miles Cleveland Goodwin

"Scattering Ashes, 2017" by Miles Cleveland Goodwin

I have to visit some of my favorite galleries every year, one of them being Gallery Henoch.  The New York based gallery represents some of the best realist artists currently working; paintings by Eric Zener, Janet Rickus, and Robert C. Jackson are among my personal favorites.

Valley House Gallery had a bigger space this year than in the past, showcasing works by the wonderful selection of artists they rep; pieces by Sederic Huckaby, Valton Tyler (who currently has a solo show at the Amon Carter Museum), Bart Forbes, and Miles Cleveland Goodwin – who just recently joined the Valley House roster – among others.

Alan Stone Projects, out of New York, had a whole wall of original Wayne Thiebaud works.

Wayne Thiebaud wall!

Wayne Thiebaud wall!

With over 200 art fairs a year, the DAF has established itself as a worthy stop on the competitive global fair circuit.  The loyalty of local galleries and collectors, and the growing number of international dealers attending each year, point to the fair’s pulse on the evolving contemporary art market.

We here at Signet couldn’t recommend this fair enough, fantastic show we are lucky to have in our town.

-M.P. Callender