THE owners of Chicago’s Navy Pier have contracted Pfingsten Publishing to produce a new annual art and antiques event replacing two major fairs at the Windy City’s top venue.
The aim of the (as yet unnamed) fair is to combine the best features of Art Chicago, the troubled Modern and Contemporary art show owned by Thomas Blackman Associates, and Antiques Chicago, a fledgling fair established in 2003 by auctioneer Leslie Hindman and works of art dealer Sandra Hindman (no relation). Both high-end fairs previously ran back to back at the Navy Pier in May.
Ohio-based Pfingsten Publishing currently produces Contemporary fair Art Miami and six other art shows. Art Miami’s director, Ilana Vardy, is heading the team currently developing the concept of the replacement show in Chicago. She envisages an event of between 150 and 175 dealers with a 40-60 blend of traditional antiques plus post-War design, Modern and Contemporary art.
“We want several different components in the show, with much more of a mix,” she said. “It will incorporate work from all the disciplines, from antiques through to the present, including Art Deco and tribal art, approached from a contemporary point of view.”
Although an official name for the diversified event has not yet been chosen, it has been confirmed that the new initiative will debut from May 5-9 at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
The show will be produced with input in a consultancy capacity from Chicago auction house owner Leslie Hindman, whose connections will help secure the involvement of local movers and shakers and charities that are such an essential part of successful American fairs.
Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (known as McPier) have filed a lawsuit against Art Chicago’s owner, Thomas Blackman Associates, and is seeking just over $375,000 in unpaid rent relating to the May Art Chicago show, the last held at the Navy Pier.
In June Blackman told reporters that Art Chicago had left the Navy Pier because the show’s allocated dates conflicted with the flagship sales in New York. He dispelled rumors that he might discontinue Art Chicago, saying the show would move to a downtown location with less traffic congestion and probably would be held from July 14-18.