This weekend will mark the inaugural Fort Worth Art Fair, an innovative celebration that has recognized local artists in North Texas.
The event will happen in simultaneously with Main Street Arts Festival, another Fort Worth annual heirloom that has shown artists for the last 35 years. However, it has been argued that the Main Street Arts Festival hasn’t showcased local artists properly.
“Despite whatever else was going on because of it, there’s not a lot of representation of local artists at the Main Street Arts Festival,” Arts Tooth Executive Director Shasta Haubrich said. “There was a need for there to be a representation of local artists and so Sundance decided to have another smaller fair inside the arts festival on the plaza that represents Texas local artists.”
Sundance Square spearheaded the Art Fair and invited Art Tooth to host the event. Art Tooth is a non-profit dedicated to creating new opportunities for local artists by partnering with businesses. The idea was spurred in early winter this year when Art Tooth advocated for more representation of local artists to be included.
“I almost cried earlier for some of these artists because they’ve never been to spaces like this with so many eyes on them like this,” Dang Good Candy gallery owner and artists Jay Wilkinson said. “Our city is growing, but we don’t have enough spaces for as many people that are creative and talented so this is fantastic.”
The event is scheduled Thursday-Sunday at Sundance Square Plaza from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. There will be about 70 artists in attendance along with eight galleries in attendance with all art being locally curated. The festival has also included a lineup of musical artists such as Grammy Award winner Clint Black, Ledisi, Steve Miller, Lara Latin, and more.
“I am excited to see everyone all together. All these galleries that I’ve -almost all the galleries outside of Art Space are new galleries within the last year,” Arts Tooth Executive Director Shasta Haubrich said. “This is the first big collaborative event that I’ve been able to do with these people and so I’m excited to be there and see what they’re doing.”
Art Tooth, Dang Good Candy, and Bale Creek Allen are among some of the eight galleries that have participated in the fair. There will also be two Dallas-based and Black-owned galleries in attendance, Danisha Board Gallery and Pencil on Paper Gallery.
“It’s nice to have that connection between Fort Worth and Dallas,” Haubrich said. “I’m excited to be taking part with those two galleries because Daisha Board Gallery is the first black-owned gallery in Dallas since 1990.”
This is the first year for Fort Worth Art Fair to stake its tents in the heart of downtown. Some of the galleries hope to continue to create a space for local artists in the future.
“I think really what I want more than anything is they get to see the range of work and the people that are here and understand over the last few years it’s important where to spend your money,” Wilkinson said. “Whether they purchase something or not, be able to see what’s here and what’s happening and kind of have pride in that and escalate the collective base we have here and realize they can purchase works that are well-renowned pieces that are in their own backyard.”
Along with art and music, Art Fair has also brought in talented local chefs located in the private areas. There will also be live painting sessions to demonstrate the connection and passion in the process of art.
“I really hope that people come out and see what other new art that people might not have normally seen before there from local artists and from DFW artists in general,” Haubrich said. “Artists have art that they want people to see. There are so many opportunities for them to get it out there and we are trying to take as many opportunities as we can to let people see their works.”