Vignette Art Fair Wrap-Up

I participated in the third annual Vignette Art Fair, an “alternative” exhibition featuring female-identifying and non-binary artists from across the state. It event was definitely “alternative” in the sense that it was in an alternative space! The Women’s Museum, located in a beautiful Arts & Crafts/Art Deco-era building in Fair Park, was in operation for just over a decade and closed in 2011. Prior to the museum’s opening in 2000, the structure was almost a total loss. Its future also remains uncertain. Rather than having a fun pop-up vibe, the space had the sense of a defunct mall, only much sadder in the #metoo-era because of the lofty ideas it once stood for.

My disappointment continued when I saw my 2D works were crowded in with that of several other artists in what I’m guessing used to be the museum’s gift shop. Meanwhile in the same room, other walls were almost completely blank. Rather than looking salon-style or intentionally unbalanced, the effect ultimately felt disorganized and chaotic.

I was dealt another blow when I found out (after searching the entire building three times), that my video piece, Apple Harvest, had been cut due to “space issues.” I’m really not sure how that happens in a massive three-level exhibition hall, but whatever. I would have been more understanding had a representative contacted me in advance to explain the situation and apologize, no matter how brief the missive.

But those are just my personal concerns relating to the physical setup and should be taken with a grain of salt. The entire exhibition of 78 artists with hundreds of pieces was installed in only two days, so it’s highly likely that many other details were overlooked. The key takeaway here is the simple fact that this behemoth of mind-boggling aesthetic diversity can forge on, in spite of any hiccups along the way. As female-identifying and non-binary humans, we should cheer each other on when opportunity knocks and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

Indeed, the camaraderie and pride among the artists was palpable. I met new colleagues and got to know my existing art friends even better. I’m sincerely happy that so many other women seized the opportunity to lead and participate in this undertaking, because it means there’s hope. Through my experience viewing the vast array of contemporary art in Texas, I left Dallas with a great sense of confidence, almost mission, in continuing my practice.