After being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 marks the 35th active year of Fort Worth’s Main Street Art Festival. The four-day event is traditionally held downtown along Main Street, stretching nine blocks from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Convention Center. This year, however, the festival will be bifurcated by the new Fort Worth Art Fair, which will be held on the same weekend in Sundance Square Plaza, a one-block stretch on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.
According to the Main Street Art Festival’s website, Robert Bass (a Fort Worth billionaire businessman and philanthropist) led the initial effort to create this event in 1986 with the goal of “transforming Downtown Fort Worth into an outdoor gallery and concert stage.” Touted now as the largest festival in the southwest, the event hosts hundreds of artists, musicians, and vendors, and counts tens of thousands of visitors. Though the festival is a beloved annual tradition, within the local art community there has long been criticism of the lack of representation of local artists.
The new Fort Worth Art Fair, which is billing itself as a “celebration of local artists,” is presented by Sundance Square, an organization headed by Ed Bass (Robert’s older brother, and a businessman and philanthropist in his own right) and his wife, Sasha. The event’s website states that over 70 local artists and musicians will be showcased along with local galleries and food vendors. Featured galleries include spaces that currently have locations in or near the Sundance Square complex — Artspace 111, Dang Good Candy, and Bale Creek Allen Gallery — and others, like Art Tooth, Flatbed Press, Daisha Board Gallery, and Pencil on Paper Gallery.
Two weeks after the Fort Worth Art Fair and the Main Street Art Festival, on April 23, Arts Goggle will host its annual event featuring 750 artists, vendors, and performers. Held in the city’s Near Southside neighborhood, southwest of downtown, this event focuses on supporting local artists and providing opportunities for experimentation outside of traditional art settings Arts Goggle was launched in 2003 and is typically held in October, with the intention of not interfering with the city’s other art events. However, since the 2021 festival was canceled due to the sudden onset of the Omicron variant, the event organizers opted for a spring date to help support artists, many of whom had already paid vendor fees and invested in creating artworks.
The Main Street Art Festival and the Fort Worth Art Fair will be held April 7-10, 2022. The Main Street Art Festival will begin at 10 am each day and end at 10 pm on the 7th, 11 pm on the 8th and 9th, and 8 pm on the 10th. The Fort Worth Art Fair will run from 11 am to 11 pm each day.
Arts Goggle will be held on April 23 from Noon to 10 pm.