Left to right: Arrival Art Fair's co-founders Sarah Galender Meyer, Yng-Ru Chen and Crystalle Lacouture at the Mass Moca 25th anniversary gala Photo by Douglas Mason
A new biannual, invitation-only art fair is set to launch in June 2025 in the Berkshires region of the northeastern United States. Called Arrival, its inaugural edition will take place 13 June to 15 June 2025 in North Adams, Massachusetts, at Tourists, the popular Berkshires hotel a short drive from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass Moca), the Clark Art Institute and Williams College Museum of Art.
For its inaugural edition, Arrival plans to feature 25 to 30 exhibitors who will take over the rooms of Tourists. Exhibitors will be nominated by the fair’s curatorial ambassadors, a group that consists of institutional directors and curators, many of whom have ties to the region. The nomination process will begin in August.
“Our curatorial ambassadors are our earliest adopters and believers; their enthusiasm pushed us forward in developing the fair,” says Yng-Ru Chen, owner and chief executive of Brookline-based Praise Shadows Art Gallery and co-founder of Arrival along with Sarah Galender Meyer of Galender Art Advisory and Crystalle Lacouture, a Boston and North Adams based artist and founding curator at Tourists. Admission to the fair will be free and visitors will have access to the hotel’s property, including a swimming pool and over 55 acres of nature, offering a relaxing environment to engage with the works on view.
Tourists, the hotel in North Adams that will host the Arrival Art Fair Photo by Peter Crosby
“We sought an antidote to the frenzy of the current art fair circuit while still emphasising the need to support a vibrant primary art market. Looping in our curator friends and setting Arrival near Williams College—where so many of us started as art history students—felt right,” Chen adds.
For the curatorial ambassadors, the motivation is much the same. “Art fairs have multiplied in number and in scale,” says Veronica Roberts, director of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and one of the inaugural ambassadors. “Between the natural beauty of the Berkshires and the intentionally intimate nature of this fair, Arrival feels like a much-needed antidote to the fair frenzy.” Like Chen, Roberts is a Williams College alum. “I am looking forward to connecting with artists, gallerists and fellow museum colleagues in one of my favourite corners of the country,” Roberts adds.
In addition to the support from the Curatorial Ambassadors, Arrival’s founding funders are collectors David and Pamela Hornik and an anonymous collector who runs the Girlfriend Fund, which helps support artists' projects including exhibitions and publications.
To give a taste of what Arrival has to offer, the fair is hosting a preview for invited collectors, artists and arts professionals on 27 July with three exhibitors: New York-based Regularnormal, New York and Los Angeles gallery Shrine, and Praise Shadows. The galleries will also be invited back for the inaugural edition in 2025.
Rendering of Praise Shadows Art Gallery's installation at the Arrival Art Fair featuring, from right to left counter-clockwise, works by Yuri Shimojo, Jean Shin, Oliver Jeffers, Duke Riley and Yu-Wen Wu Courtesy Praise Shadows Art Gallery
The setting of Tourists and the prospect of connecting with the community in North Adams were major draws for the exhibitors. “Arrival could provide our programme and artists with visibility with the good folks at Mass Moca and perhaps other institutions from the state,” says Danny Báez, founder Regularnormal. “It is also an excellent opportunity to meet buyers from Massachusetts and the nearby regions.”
In addition to the local art institutions, the area is home to the Williamstown Theatre Festival and near the rich arts ecosystems in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York. “This means that Arrival will not exist in a silo,” says Galender Meyer. “The city has transformed from an industrial economy to a creative economy. [The fair] will be woven into the fabric of a thriving arts ecosystem.”
Arrival will feature programming and events with local museums and cultural institutions and the fair will also offer space at Tourists to non-profits from the region.
“Collaboration with and providing benefit for the local community has always been a pillar of Arrival’s ethos,” says Lacouture. “We’ve engaged excellent local vendors and are programming with the community in mind. Since the original mills and industries left North Adams, the city has slowly transformed itself into a rare haven for art and culture; shuttered mill buildings now house artists' studios. We want visitors to Arrival to explore these local gems.”