It seems to us that saying others are experiencing "sour grapes" moments [The Business, March 16] should be reserved for people who actually review packets, and are in the room when decisions are made. Certain gallerists with integrity, Catherine Edelman, Ken Saunders, Tom McCormick, or Thomas Masters, for example, who actually know what's what in the city and in the CADA, and have other dealers' interests at heart besides their own, would have been more appropriately placed on the jury. It is our understanding (yes, there is a "deep throat," there always is) that the Chicago galleries packets were never actually viewed but that "recommendations" were handed down on which Chicago Galleries should be included. I received a call from a Chicago dealer of 20 years who has never been a CADA member, and has never applied to the fairs, whose astute comment sums the whole thing up: "The level of arrogance is stunning."
An organization like CADA, whose mission is to be an advocate for its members, and has always appeared to be doing so, also seems to suffer from "Telluride Syndrome." Having faithfully attended, and having never seen two of the three Chicago dealers chosen by the Mart to sit on the "jury of their peers" at a single meeting in the five years I've been a member, forgive me if I find the choice of jurors odd. Something just isn't quite right . . . many of those that are consistently active and in attendance at the CADA meetings were also not "chosen" to participate in the new, improved Art Chicago, including two board members. I cannot help but wonder, without executive director Natalie Van Straaten (scheduled to retire within the year), if there will even be a CADA, or just a few people who serve themselves under its banner while the others participate and pay the price. The fact that we were excluded is not problematic for us, but the way in which we were excluded is, and it is a safe bet we're not alone in those feelings.