Fay Gold Puts Art First, Closes Gallery

Art dealer Fay Gold.

Just one short year after opening her gallery in the Westside Cultural Arts Center, Fay Gold has announced that it will close on September 16, the last day of the Doug and Mike Starn exhibition. She has asked all artists to pick up their works today.

In her announcement, Gold says she will no longer be affiliated with the WCAC. She states: “I have succeeded in my mission to re-enter the gallery world of Atlanta and thank you for your outpouring of love and support. It is time for me to accomplish the completion of my book: Basquiat’s Cat and resume my art consulting business.”

Gold told BURNAWAY that “it’s difficult to run gallery in the middle of an event space, which takes precedence.” For example, she says that work was sometimes censored for events, like a bar mitzvah or wedding, and that she was often asked to take work down to suit the renter’s needs.

She tendered her resignation over a week ago with the understanding that her programming would continue through November. She had two more shows planned, of Finnish photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen and of Miami-based Atlanta artist Anthony Liggins. “I gave it my best effort,” Gold says, “but ultimately we weren’t on the same page.”

The final straw was the Starns show. “They wanted me to take down, for one night [September 17], works worth $25,000 to $80,000 each,” she says, “I had to protect the art.”

After shuttering her longstanding Buckhead gallery in 2009, Gold was later invited by WCAC building owner James Chappuis, a surgeon, to reopen her gallery at the center, a 12,500-square-foot event space in a building covered by a HENSE mural, which she commissioned (paid for by Chappuis).

Gold says she has been working on and talking about Basquiat’s Cat, a memoir, for years, and that it’s time to finish it. “It’s about my close friendships with artists like Basquiat, and how a Jewish housewife from Brooklyn came to Atlanta” and  became a dealer of cutting-edge art, she says.

On the WCAC’s website, Fay Gold is listed as the “gallery in residence,” which was not its designation when the gallery opened. A spokesperson for the WCAC declined to comment on when the business arrangement became a “gallery-in-residence” and what the future plans for the space are.

Gold says, “When they told me that I couldn’t bring my Yorkie, Murray, to work, I knew it was time to leave.”

[Updated 9/15/14 at 6:20pm.]
Exterior of the Westside Cultural Arts Center with a mural by HENSE. © Rob Dunalewicz.
Exterior of the Westside Cultural Arts Center with a mural by HENSE. (Photo: © Rob Dunalewicz)


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