~Heather Hubbs/NADA

Heather Hubbs

HEATHER HUBBS came on board as the NADA Art Fair Miami Director last Fall 2004.
A hurricane had just damaged the original site location, and it was Heather who proposed
The Ice Palace Film Studio (59 NW 14th St, Miami) location. A little hesitant, because the Ice Palace is situated in a “hard core” area, and not in Miami Beach proper, the venue proved to be a huge success, and remains the location for the 3rd annual NADA Art Fair Miami this year.

The Ice Palace turned out to be a popular location for 2 main reasons: 1st – the beautiful outdoor garden, hammocks and all, that greets visitors and sets the ambience, and 2nd – the venue is large and spacious, with high ceilings and enough ground floor area space for every exhibitor to have equal sized booths. Supposedly the individual booths are even larger this year.

NADA’s success, as an independent fair, has spawned many smaller imitator alternative satellite fairs, such as FRISBEE, which is run by founder/director, Anat Ebai.

Last year’s NADA fair had 61 contemporary art galleries and non-profits, representing New York City, the USA and overseas. This year’s has 83. The word on the street is that everybody made money last year, ranging from $5,000 to over $200,000 in individual gallery sales.
This year a booth at the fair costs $6,000, with discounts for non-profits.

This is the first year that being a member of the NADA alliance did NOT guarantee a place in the fair. Each gallery, the application process was also open to non-NADA members, had to submit a proposal/application back in early Sept. The fair participants were then decided by a committee composed of the 4 founding members and a board. Although Heather runs the meetings, and organizes the process, she does not have a vote on the committee’s final decisions, although her input is said to be influential.

The 4 founding members of NADA, (NEW ART DEALERS ALLIANCE) are: John Connelly of JOHN CONNELLY PRESENTS, Zach Feuer of ZACH FEUER GALLERY (LFL), Zach Miner, and Sheri Pasquarella, (the last 2 being individual members, of which there are now 13 and who, for the most part, are independent curators and/or art consultants).

The 2005 committee board members were: Michael Gillespie of FOXY PRODUCTION, Becky Smith of BELLWETHER GALLERY, Michael Waugh of MOMENTA ART, and Claudia Altman-Siegel, currently Director of LUHRING AUGUSTINE, with Claudia representing the voice of the individual members.

NADA is a not-for-profit professional association, which besides running the fair, also initiates members-only seminars, with professional/art business themes, and produces artist talks, gallery walks, and benefits, etc., which are open to the public.

Although, NADA, founded in 2002, is a new organization, it represents many of the most dynamic and important young power players on the scene today, and the stakes are already high, moneywise. Heather seems to be able to stay on top of the pack and keep its best interests flourishing, as a whole.

Heather came to NADA with excellent credentials, a hands-on down-to-earth manner, and some serious hard core ‘art fair’ experience, having worked previously, for 6 years, for THOMAS BLACKMAN ASSOCIATES, or TBA, the well-known producers of the prestigious ART CHICAGO FAIRS. She started as the proverbial ‘go fer’ and exited as a Director/&/right hand assistant to Thomas Blackman.

Apart from gradually wielding a strong hand in the organizational details, Heather was instrumental in the decision to enliven the Chicago Art Fair by inviting young new galleries to participate at no charge. Called the 2001 International Invitational – this addition to the Chicago Art fair was a huge success. Heather was credited with inviting a dynamic line-up of new galleries, which were very ‘close to the bone’, focusing particularly on the newly emerging scenes in both New York and San Francisco, and in the process, made a name for herself, both as a visionary, curator, and organizer.

The 2001 CHICAGO International Invitational in fact, set the scene for her NADA position today, by introducing her to the young NYC galleries, that were later to become key Nada members. She made a lasting impression on them, not only in how she promoted the cause of new voices and so ably pinpointed fresh art scenes, but also, in how well she dealt with them, on an organizational level, especially within the context of a huge traditional fair.

Needless to say, the 2001 International invitational was a milestone. In Dec 2001, she produced the now famous STRAY SHOWS, for TBA, a series of 16 alternative shows, organized around the Chicago undeground scene. She also produced the Chicago Art Fair International Invitational, for TBA, for several more years, thru 2004 – inviting to Chicago, such cutting edge galleries as FOXY PRODUCTION and DANIEL REICH out of NYC , and JACK HANLEY from San Francisco.

Photo: HEATHER HUBBS, on Ludlow St, Lower East Side, NYC, Oct 2, 2005
Photo by: Nancy Smith