Published: July 17, 2012
Citing diminished dealer participation and escalating venue costs, Stella Show Mgmt Co. has canceled its long-running January edition of the Pier Antiques Show, which in the past has run concurrently with Americana Week.
Rumors of the show’s cancellation had circulated around Brimfield this past week and were confirmed by the firm’s president Irene Stella. “I sent a letter informing dealers of the decision a couple of weeks ago,” Stella told Antiques and The Arts Weekly. “There are always many reasons factoring into such a decision, but paramount was the diminishing number of dealers, especially in Americana, as well as rate increases this year for equipment and services at the Pier. The budget couldn’t hold in a changing marketplace.”
Unlike the broader range of exhibitors seen at Stella’s popular editions of the Pier show conducted in March and November, which better match the collecting tastes of younger audiences, the more traditional fare of folk art and Americana presented in January †this past year on Pier 92 †struggled to maintain a following. “Dealer response has been lessening. It was down last year,” Stella stated.
The show’s demise seems to be permanent, according to Stella. “These things have their time,” she said, and although she has no intentions of revisiting the decision, she does not rule out a revival if costs were to come down and if there were a resurgent influx of young people hungering for Americana. And what if another show promoter sees an opportunity here? “It wasn’t working for us,” replied Stella. “If they can do something we can’t, then more power to them. “We’ve always prided ourselves on being in tune with the market †especially the New York market.”
The Antiques at the Armory show, scheduled for January 25′7 at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue is unaffected, as are the Pier Antiques Shows set for November 17‱8 and March 16‱7 of next year.
The show promoter added that in addition to the remaining New York City shows, the firm is seeing great success with its Country Living Fairs in Chicago, Atlanta and Austin. “And we’re working on some new things, too, in directions away from traditional antiques, involving things like design seminars and books.” Details will follow, she said.
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