“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 (Epiphany). 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.
This curious and unexpected predicament has left Epiphany no choice but to conclude that TAOB will not take place at Epiphany as previously announced. Following is a summary of what transpired, leading us to this point.
On June 10, [collectiv presents] approached Epiphany and informed us that they were unable to secure a different venue. After being assured that TAOB’s exhibition programming and ticket sales were in order, and that Starvox Exhibits had the ability to properly and timely execute installation of the exhibition, we entered lease negotiations for TAOB to rent our historic venue. Shortly thereafter, TAOB’s marketing team preemptively, and without Epiphany’s permission, released an unauthorized announcement on Facebook stating that TAOB would be held at Epiphany. TAOB’s marketing team was then immediately instructed to withdraw that announcement until a final non-binding term sheet was consummated and a joint statement could be prepared explaining what led to TAOB’s loss of its prior venue. (That joint statement is available upon request.)
On June 23, an agreed and authorized announcement revealing the location of TAOB’s exhibition was released. Initially, we were thrilled with the idea the exhibition would become part of Epiphany’s event programming. And, for the past three weeks, we have worked tirelessly and in good faith to finalize a rental agreement and event logistics with Starvox Exhibits and [collectiv presents]. In the process, we terminated three of our art exhibitions early and postponed seven others. Additionally, we cancelled numerous live music performances and a 300-person wedding to accommodate TAOB’s timeline. As to TAOB, they demanded that we proceed with a layout and configuration that not only encroached on space that was not part of our lease negotiations but, more importantly, would negatively impact patrons’ experience and their enjoyment of the exhibition. In addition, there were numerous critically-important, logistical aspects of the installation that were never finalized nor presented in a construction work letter which was referenced in our term sheet and was to be incorporated in our lease. Furthermore, certain financial commitments made to Epiphany were not honored.
We have reached out to TAOB multiple times in writing and telephonically over the course of the past week to engage in productive discussions to finalize these and other outstanding lease-related issues. Unfortunately, we have not received any response from anyone on TAOB’s team. 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. Please note that Epiphany was not involved in any aspect of TAOB’s ticket sales, and all questions regarding ticket refunds should be directed to 844.871.1358 or www.banksyexhibit.com.
Epiphany’s team is working hard to fulfill the programming and events that were postponed or cancelled to accommodate TAOB. We are committed to doing what we have done in the past, even in the face of COVID, which is to bring compelling Art, Entertainment and Events to Chicago. Please visit www.epiphanychi.com for updates on Epiphany’s unique programming.”
– David Chase, Co-founder, Epiphany Center for the Arts