Saturday, we headed back to George R. Brown Convention Center to delve deeper into the selection (Friday's overwhelming experience of Warhol! Lichtenstein! Close! caused us to do some heavy breathing exercises and sit in a corner most of the time). With one gallerist's claim that her art was "too intellectual for Houston," we went to talk with a few local galleries to see what the local contingent was getting out of this, anyway.
DiverseWorks Artistic Director Sixto Wagan, who was manning his organization's information booth, said the fair could give local artists more exposure for sure, but it would also allow locals to be influenced by national and international artists they might not otherwise see. "A lot of local artists don't get the chance to travel," he told us.
Robert McClain of the McClain Gallery acknowledged that the fair is a "crossroads to interact," for artists, dealers and collectors, but for the fair to continue in the future, customers need to patronize the out-of-town dealers.
As for the claim that some art is "too intellectual" for the locale? "That's just the case for everyone if they're not open to it," JoAnne Park of Barbara Davis Gallery said.
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Wagan also shook the notion off. "What's great here is that people aren't looking at who or where, they're looking at art," he said.