The 2018 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art has a loyal following — with good reason. The creative and curious can peruse a wide range of fabulous finds, all from hand-picked vendors who set up shop for three days in Cowtown, starting March 2.
The 55th annual show, at the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall's West Texas event center, fills almost 50,000 square feet with collectibles and creative eye candy. The theme of this year’s mega art and antiques expedition might energize those stuck in the winter doldrums.
“The Fort Worth Show is about reviving and renewing our homes and our style. Antiques, vintage and art are fun and life-affirming, a way to revamp what you already have and perhaps add a piece that will pull it all together in your own personal style,” says show director Jan Orr-Harter.
There’s something for everyone here.
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Orr-Harter says her team has “pulled off a high wire act” to appeal both to longtime visitors of the show and a new generation of treasure hunters. Keeping price ranges that cater to all types of collectors is key, as is a growing list of vendors. The show has expanded from 50 to 150 dealers, some mixing mid-century modern and contemporary art with the traditional antiques offerings.
"The rules limiting styles in the show have been lifted and the range of styles continues to grow,” says Orr-Harter.
Show organizers work to make sure no one style dominates the shopping experience. Early sporting collectibles, textile art, contemporary art glass and traditional Southern antique are among the new additions.
One look at Pinterest makes it clear that treehouses, little houses and 'she sheds' are especially popular right now. Not sure what a 'she shed' is? Think a tiny backyard living space for a woman to set up hobby or office digs or just relax for a bit — with decor to suit her style..
“There will be a ‘she shed’ built in author Sue Whitney’s booth shared by Liz Collins of the Haute Nest in Round Top, Texas, in the very center of the show,” Orr-Harter says. “You will be able to go inside the ‘she shed,’ and all the furniture and vintage decor inside of it will be for sale as part of the show.”
Sometimes nicknamed the “Queen of Junk,” Whitney is coming from Minnesota to sign copies of her book "Junk Beautiful: Furniture ReFreshed" (Taunton Press). She’s also conducting sessions on revamping vintage furniture that you love but that just needs that little something-something.
“I will be doing one project over the course of two days. I am transforming an ordinary table with the use of milk paint and tissue paper,” Whitney says. “I will discuss the differences in paint options like chalk, milk and latex. The application of distressed tissue paper provides the 'pop' to the table top.”
Exclusive collectors and dealers also are converging for this event, formerly known as the Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show. Scarlet Lady Antiques is reportedly bringing some items from the Charlie Chaplin estate.
Artists and designers often comb the aisles of the show looking for that prized element to complete a project.
Kristen Deweese of K. Deweese Events in Fort Worth created a coffee table by adding a glass box over a bushel of vintage mannequin arms and legs that was found at a previous show.
Claudia Thompson, a volunteer at the show, snagged an old yellow painted Jeep grill at a previous show and fashioned it into a desk.
Browsing the many aisles for a pièce de résistance can work up an appetite, and Fort Worth’s Coburn’s Catering will be selling sustenance and beverages at the show, and if you hit the place during happy hour, all the better.
“Dealers will host happy hour nibbles in their booths Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” Orr-Harter says.
And if you bite off more than you can chew and fall in love with something too large to transport home, don’t fret. A moving company will be on-site for hire to move your finds locally or nationally.
What is Orr-Harter, also the owner of Hot Tamale Antiques in Aledo, looking forward to snagging or seeing at the show?
“Well, as a Round Top dealer, I will shop especially the folks with good prices for resale. We always have a range of prices. For myself, I am hoping to buy a simple necklace from Amber Acres Antiques made from a pre-Columbian Anasazi pottery shard encased in sterling (silver). Also, there are some real bargains in the Center for Transforming Lives Benefit Booth,” she says.
If you go
The Fort Worth Show of Antiques &Art
Will Rogers Memorial Center
3400 Burnett-Tandy Drive, Fort Worth
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday (happy hour Friday 3-6 p.m.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Open rain or shine.
Free parking for carpools of three people; passenger drop-off at the front or north entrances.
$8 admission (good for all three days); children 15 and younger free. Dealers accept cash, checks with proper ID and some vendors also accept credit cards. There is an ATM in the show’s lobby area.
For details on parking, food, directions to the show and more, visit http://www.fortworthshow.com/Visitor_Info.htm