Just weeks after tickets for Chicago's "Art of Banksy" exhibit went on sale, a West Loop venue where the exhibit was expected to be held said organizers are "nowhere to be found," but organizers blame frequent changes to agreements between the two sides for the decision to move the event.
“Despite numerous good faith attempts, we have not been able to come to terms on a lease that would allow the team behind The Art of Banksy (TAOB) to host their exhibit at our West Loop venue, Epiphany Center for the Arts," co-founder David Chase said in a statement. "After weeks of planning and negotiations that included design and construction details specific to Epiphany’s historic spaces, including the flow of TAOB patrons throughout the exhibition and Epiphany’s common areas, we have reached a dead end. The team behind TAOB has ceased communicating with Epiphany and, after nearly a month of negotiations and preparations, all efforts to move forward with a rental agreement have gone unanswered. Like the elusive Banksy himself, the team behind The Art of Banksy is nowhere to be found."
In a series of social media posts, organizers say that the event has not been canceled, and that they are seeking a new venue.
“We regret that due to irreconcilable differences between our organization and the owners of Epiphany Center for the Arts, we are currently confirming an alternate venue for The Art of Banksy,” organizers said. “Epiphany Center’s management team frequently changed the terms of our agreement in a way that made producing the show in this venue untenable.”
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All patrons will be notified of the change of venue once it is confirmed, according to the statement.
The latest set of tickets for Chicago's "Art of Banksy" went on sale late last month as its opening was moved to August.
Tickets ranged in price from approximately $40 to $75, according to the exhibit's website, and ticketholders received an email at the time saying the exhibit was set to be held at Epiphany.
The city was expected to see more than 80 original works, worth a total of $35 million, from the famed street artist in the exhibit, set to open Aug. 7 at a "secret location" in the West Loop neighborhood. Banksy's works are mainly dated between the years 1997 to 2008, according to the website, and include "Girl and Balloon" and "Flower Thrower," among others.
Exhibit officials added that indoor pieces from original works on canvas, wood and paper have been less exposed, but would be on display.
Chase said based on "this curious and unexpected predicament" the studio has "no choice but to conclude that TAOB will not take place at Epiphany as previously announced."
"We sincerely regret our need to move forward with our programming without TAOB exhibition and offer our apologies to patrons who, like Epiphany, were looking forward to experiencing the exhibition at our unique and historic venue," his statement read.
The venue said ticket sales were done solely through the exhibit's organizers and those with questions surrounding tickets or ticket refunds should contact (844) 871-1358 or www.banksyexhibit.com.
Calls to the above ticket number, however, went unanswered Wednesday afternoon.