The 15th year of the big art show must go on, but downtown Fort Worth is still a mess, so organizers have moved the behemoth Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival at the last minute out of tornado-ravaged downtown and over to the city's cultural district. The April 13-16 festival will be located on Lancaster Blvd. from Montgomery St. to University Drive in front of the Will Rogers Memorial Complex, according to Donna Van Ness of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., the nonprofit group that runs the show.
Fort Worth's art museums anchor the cultural district, and Van Ness says the Kimbell Art Museum will be closed during the festival "to accommodate the increased traffic." BLINK thinks this is snooty Kimbell-speak and an effort on the part of the museum to keep the hordes of wine-margarita-wasted away from the high-priced art treasures. Still, some of the Kimbell's generosity shows, as it is allowing the festival to use its hallowed "Great Lawn." Some of the festival's artists will take up residence in tents to show their wares on the Kimbell's parklike area on the west side of the property. More than 430,000 art- and turkey-leg starved traversed the street fair last year. It will be interesting to see whether the change of venue helps or hurts the largest free, outdoor arts event in the Southwest.
Main St.'s annual homage to high art, a juried show called the Festival Exhibition, selected this year by the Arlington Museum of Art'sdirector Joan Davidow,suffers the biggest storm-related setback. Van Ness says finding a home for the monthlong exhibit was the most taxing part of the reshuffle. Ultimately, and sadly, there were no nearby galleries or art spaces that could accommodate the show, and the decision was made to put the show up online only. "The artists in the juried show are definitely not going to get the traffic we anticipated," she says, "but we will do our best. I know we're planning to do additional advertising." Van Ness says the virtual show will be up on the festival web site (www.msfwaf.org).
Scary video on broadcast news of tornado-trampled Carol Henderson Gallery's front windows prompted BLINK to cruise Fort Worth's unofficial "gallery row," the part of West 7th Street that begins at the "big light" and runs parallel to the cultural district into Arlington Heights, looking for the March 28 storm's impact on fine art. Edmund Craig Gallery and Evelyn Siegel Gallery reported only minor structural damage. Carol Henderson was hardest hit, according to Henderson. "We lost some of Jim Bowman's wonderful art-glass pieces," she says, "some designer jewelry, and ceramic boxes. We are still taking inventory and hope to open again in a month." Paintings by Stephen Lawrie in the rear gallery were not harmed, she says.