Volta Cancels Inaugural Miami Fair

October 22nd, 2021

Organizers of the popular Art Basel satellite fair Volta have canceled the event’s inaugural Miami edition, slated to take place December 1–5, citing venue woes and restrictions related to the continuing Covid-19 crisis. Already pushed ahead from its expected 2020 launch thanks to the pandemic, the fair in the spring lost its original planned home, Mana Contemporary, when that space saw its license to host events canceled. According to Volta director Kamiar Maleki, Mana officials dragged their feet in notifying Volta of the change, causing the fair to scramble to find a new venue.

In July, Maleki struck a deal to erect a large tent across from Ice Palace Studios and near NADA and Art Miami, which were to run roughly concurrent with Volta. However, travel bans affecting those arriving from Europe, Asia, in Africa remained in place in the US as the Delta variant surged, making it difficult, if not impossible, for exhibitors to confirm their participation in the event, and Maleki was ultimately forced to cancel it altogether, despite US plans to lift travel restrictions in November. Participants were offered a full refund or the chance to shift their application fees ahead to a future Volta.

At present, there is no word as to when or if Miami Volta will launch, with Maleki telling The Art Newspaper that the fair, which since 2005 and 2008, respectively, has held Basel and New York editions, is looking at a number of other cities besides Miami for its latest iteration. Maleki pointed to the superheated Asian art market, noting, “The beauty of a fair like ours is that we serve a whole range of clients, we’re in the mid-career area. There’s a lot of demand in Asia, we have always had good support from Asia, particularly from Japan from Korea.”