The Dallas Art Fair is great and all, but if you’re not ready to invest tens of thousands of dollars in your collection, it’s near impossible to take anything home. You could say the same for many of Dallas’ high-profile galleries (though there are some great, more affordable options in the mix). If you’re shopping on a budget, like most people are, it can be very discouraging. But this fall, there’s a new art fair coming to Dallas that intends to break those barriers and make owning artwork accessible to everyone.
The Other Art Fair, presented by online gallery and artist network Saatchi Art, is disrupting the typically elitist fine art market. The fair focuses on nurturing up-and-coming artists and catering to young and emerging collectors (not to mention, it usually includes at least 50 percent female artists). Dallas is one of three upcoming stops in the U.S., including Los Angeles, where Saatchi is based, and Brooklyn.
“I think we really recognize that Dallas appreciates fashion, appreciates design, there’s so much industry here and people are really excited about expanding their horizons,” says fair director Nicole Garton. “They have their new art fair, which is hitting its stride, there are re so many galleries popping up, but we recognized that to really include everyone in the conversation there was kind of a hole that wasn’t really hitting the thing we focus on, so it felt like a great chance to include everyone.”
Rather than hosting galleries like at a traditional art fair, individual artists run their own booths at The Other Art Fair. They curate their own selections and chat with attendees. Exhibiting artists are chosen from a pool of applicants by a committee of art advisors, consultants, and experts. To keep things fresh, every city has a new committee and a totally new roster of artists, both sourced from the local community.
“People can find ways to find a personal connection with an artist that’s kind of lost when you’re speaking to someone who’s just trying to sell you art. I think that makes it less intimidating for people as well,” says Garton.
These artists are under-the-radar and in the early stages of their career, so the prices of their work reflect that. The majority of pieces on view are less than $1,000, with prices starting around $50 for fine art prints. The Other Art Fair also offers free tours with Saatchi Art Curators, who can help you navigate the fair to find artists who fit your style and budget.
“Most art advisors will charge anywhere from $200 and up for an hour of their time, so it’s a great opportunity just to have someone’s ear and expertise,” adds Garton.
Likewise, it’s a good opportunity for artists to get exposure and new clients, especially those who aren’t represented by a gallery. There spots for 120 artists at the Dallas fair, and applications are now open to anyone who’s interested.
The Other Art Fair will come to Dallas Market Hall from September 19 to 22. The selection committee has yet to be announced.