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January 12, 2006


With offline commitments falling away, I plan to be back at this thing right soon.

In the meantime, let's take a moment for a bit of the old press release regurgitation: This year's NOVA Art Fair (which has wisely shed its gratuitous "young" modifier) finally has a venue lined up.

As Erik Wenzel noted in the run-up to ABMB et alia, fair director Michael Workman has been looking to move the event away from last year's rustic environs (half of which now houses the NOVA Center) into a ~scope-style hotel situation, possibly in closer proximity to the Big Dog in Grant Park:

In local art fair news, Michael Workman announced on the NOVA Advisory listserv that he will be down there too. Networking, handing out business cards and so on, as we are all wont to do, could any of us afford to go down there.

Workman also touched on NOVA’s current plans for next year’s venue. NOVA is still searching. They are looking into Michigan Avenue hotels, which would put it closer to Art Chicago in the Park.

Well, the announcement came today that NOVA has settled plans to take over the City Suites Hotel for the fair weekend, right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the Belmont strip in Lakeview.

(In spite of their stated hopes of moving Art Chicago from the spring chill to the summer swelter, TBA will again be pitching their Butler Field tent during the last weekend in April, NOVA following suit. Hopefully it'll be a bit warmer this year, though.)

Given the run of the entire hotel, NOVA will have 45 rooms at their disposal (30 standard sized "suites" and 15 smaller singles, priced at $3000 and $2000 respectively). According to their press release, they anticipate stepping it up to 30–40 galleries this time around. There's no indication whether this will include exhibits from individual artists, though the NOVA exhibitors page (currently in draft form) seems to suggest some sort of participation by individuals in the form of "environmental projects."

[Update... Lord knows, one of these days I'll learn to read: "Besides exhibiting galleries, Nova will continue its tradition of offering space to individual artists and collectives, both within available space at the City Suites Hotel, area businesses, and outdoors."]

Relocating the fair from the West Loop to Belmont trades real estate in the youngsters' art district for the visibility and potential foot traffic of the youngsters' retail thoroughfare. And, though it's much further away from the main event than last year, with the Belmont L stop a block away, transit between NOVA and Art Chicago should actually prove far easier. Having a bevy of amenities and distractions in arm's reach doesn't hurt, either. (Last year found me, post-NOVA, making a late dinner of a sticky bun and some Cheetos from a Loop 7-11 as I hoofed it to the Red Line. I would've killed for a Clarke's at the time—even Dunkin' Donuts would've been a blessing.)

This all sounds pretty good to me (as if anyone cares), just so long as the general ambience of the neighborhood doesn't lead things to a degeneration into Williamsburg-style scenester art ridiculousness.

Provided revelers aren't drawn in by the siren-song öonce-öonce and sideshow freakiness of Berlin across the street, a vernissage after-party featuring DJ Spooky bumps into the small hours just one L stop north at Smart Bar.

"NOVA News"
Posted by Dan at 04:45 PM


Figured you'd blog this before me and I was right. Now I just have to link to it without writing anything (ggg).

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Cynthia on January 12, 2006 at 06:16 PM

Actually there's now a Dunkin Donuts across from last year's NOVA space (now the NOVA Center). Pretty much brand spanking new too.

Posted by: Justin on January 16, 2006 at 03:25 PM

Oh, that's right—in that new high rise office building. I think there's a Quizno's or something there, too. Don't know that either would be open around midnight, though.

Posted by: Dan on January 17, 2006 at 09:17 AM

$2,000 or $3,000 for a room?! For a weekend?!

You could sublet an apartment and do shows in it for 3 or 4 months at that price.

You could rent a garage and do shows in it for a year at that rate.

You could print 1,000 copies of a nice samll publication and give them all away for that kinda money. You could print several thousand copies of a newspaper.

You could eat 2 great burritos a day for a year on that kinda money.

want me to keep going?

Posted by: Marc on January 23, 2006 at 03:38 PM

For a sense of scale here, last year saw NOVA charging $2,500 per 120 sq ft booth in a parking lot.

Exhibitor prices at Art Chicago 2006:

$11,000 for 288 sq ft
$21,000 for 576 sq ft
$30,000 for 864 sq ft
$40,000 for 1,152 sq ft

The upcoming ~scope fair in New York (no longer in a hotel):

$5,800 for 192 sq ft
$7,800 for 264 sq ft
$9,800 for 320 sq ft

Scope will orbit the Armory Show, which is pricing its booths (ranging in size from 144–864 sq ft) from $8,500–$47,500.

$47,500 is a few decades worth of quality daily burritos. Boring, yes, but filling. Any guesses how many mouths a Basel booth could feed?

Posted by: Dan on January 23, 2006 at 11:30 PM

.. I miss reading iconoduel postings ... are you calling it quits?

Posted by: benvolta on February 15, 2006 at 10:36 AM

Just chalk it up to the winter doldrums. I'll return.

Posted by: Dan on February 21, 2006 at 09:39 AM

Wow, 3000$ for the room is too much. What is included in this price? :)

Posted by: Ben on February 26, 2006 at 08:50 AM

For this money I'd better stay home and spend time with my TV

Posted by: Razor on April 10, 2006 at 07:10 AM

New hardcore french writer:

"Idéologiquement Cash/Chiotte

L'aplat de niaiseries répandu sur le texte a empêché de dévoiler la puissance colérique des propos en général. Une sorte de philosophie en parfaite adéquation avec l'époque. Ni avant-garde, ni conservatisme."

To be continued: http://hirsute.hautetfort.com

Posted by: Andy Verol on April 21, 2006 at 06:19 PM

I can't believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $87510. Isn't that crazy!

Posted by: Betsy Markum on June 2, 2006 at 05:17 PM

Referenced in this post:

Art Chicago
Art or Idiocy?: Fair Hike
Berlin Nightclub
Bridge Magazine Online: BRIDGE Announces Venue for Nova Art Fair 2006
Citysearch Chicago: Berlin
Citysearch Chicago: Clarke's on Belmont
DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid
Google Search: 'clark and belmont' 'dunkin donuts'
Google Search: 'punkin donuts' belmont
Iconoduel: Art Chicago Back Under the Big Top in '05
Iconoduel: Art Fair Fallout
Iconoduel: Chicago Contemporary & Classic Highlights—Comment 3
NIC: City Suites Hotel
NOVA Art Fair
NOVA Art Fair: Exhibitors
Scope Art
Smart Bar
Thomas Blackman Associates
Wikipedia: Lakeview, Chicago