Gen Art Designers Feel Scammed

Gen Art still charged booth fees despite closing shop

By Aixa Velez
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 AM CDT
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A host of salty designers who paid fees for booth space to Gen Art are upset because they say the cultural powerhouse charged even though it knew it was closing.

The New York-based organization announced it was closing on May 5, yet continued promoting and selling booth space in late April for its Shop Chicago event, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Shop Chicago was scheduled to take place at Union Station today with 20 to 25 designers. Gen Art charged designers $550 to $650 for a booth at Shop Chicago.

"I understand that times are tough and companies fold and that's unfortunate," said Chicago-based apparel designer Kate Coxworth to the Sun-Times. "I just think it's a little odd that all these turn of events happened so close together. It's baloney that they didn't know they were going to close."

Coxworth was scammed out of $550.

Another designer, Veronica Riley Martens said her check for her booth was dated April 22 and it was cashed April 28, just one week before Gen Art announced their closing.

The company’s founders say Gen Art has been struggling financially for the past 18 months.

The company will file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and has no money for refunds, said Gen Art co-founder and CEO Ian Gerard, according to the Sun-Times.

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