Art Industry News: The Met Gala Is Going Vegan This Year + Other Stories

Plus, the U.K. is defying a court order to build its controversial Stonehenge tunnel, and soccer great Lionel Messi is making NFTs.

Ariana Grande, a vegan, at the 2018 Met Gala. Photo by Sean Zanni, © Patrick McMullan.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, August 5.


Construction Continues on ‘Unlawful’ Stonehenge Tunnel – Despite a court ruling last week that deemed a planned tunnel near Stonehenge to be “unlawful,” the government organization Highways England is continuing preparation to dig the tunnel. Three bids have been submitted for the massive construction project, which conservationists say poses a threat to the historic site. Highways England says that it expects to announce a decision on the contract early next year, disregarding the high court’s ruling. (Evening Standard)

The U.K. Grants E.U. Creatives Visa-Free Travel – The U.K.’s department of digital, culture, media and sport has negotiated with 19 E.U. countries to allow British creatives to travel for short work tours without visas or work permits. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and Italy are among those who have signed on to the deal. (Evening Standard)

The Met Gala Is Going Vegan for the First Time – The 2021 Met Gala will be serving a fully plant-based menu, cooked up collaboratively by 10 leading New York City chefs. The party and fund-raising event on September 13 will mark the opening of a two-part exhibition at the Met’s Costume Institute on American fashion and designers’ responses to growing calls for social justice and gender and body inclusivity. (VegNews)

Why Celebrities’ Kids Are So Good at Painting Mountains – When Kim Kardashian shared an image earlier this year of her 7-year-old’s unexpectedly accomplished landscape, many online critics were incredulous and believed the reality show star had faked it for clout (even as Kardashian vigorously defended North’s art prowess). Now, former Beverly Hills 90210 star Brian Austin Green, who has three kids with actress Megan Fox, has belatedly leapt to Kim’s defense, sharing a very similar mountain landscape painted by his own son, who has the same mountain-loving art teacher, Celeste Astor Frederickson. “Noah is now working on the same thing in the same art class. It’s unbelievable but true. The kids are painting these, and North’s is beautiful.” (US Weekly)


Shake Up at MOCA Cleveland – Following a year of race-related controversies, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland has named six new board members and appointed three new board co-presidents: Audra T. Jones, Joanne Cohen, and Stephen G. Sokany. “This evolved diverse leadership framework goes beyond creating seats at the table,’’ Jones, who is the institution’s first Black co-president, said in a statement. “It allows for equitable conversation, decision making, listening, and a diversity of perspectives that are unprecedented in MOCA’s history.” (Press release)

New Director for Vienna Contemporary – The Bratislava-based artist and curator Boris Ondreička has been named the new director of the art fair Vienna Contemporary. The next edition of the event will take place September 2 through 5 at a new location, the Alte Post. (Monopol)

Artworks Go Missing From Japanese Museum – The local government in Gunma has set up the Arts Maebashi Review Committee for Better Solutions to study how and why six artworks went missing from the Arts Maebashi museum in January 2020. The committee includes government officials and art professionals, who will look further into the incident and find ways to prevent such an event in future. (Art Asia Pacific)

London Makes Visits to the Mound Free in August – London’s new £2 million artificial hill near Oxford Street will be free for visitors throughout the month of August following complaints about ongoing construction blocking views, and landscaping that has not had time to properly seed. The local council in charge of the attraction, who had hoped it would draw shoppers back to the city center, said it was rushed out in time for the summer. “We made a mistake and we apologize to everyone who hasn’t had a great experience on their visit,” Westminster’s council’s chief executive Stuart Love said. (Evening Standard)


Soccer Legend Lionel Messi Gets in the NFT Game – Argentina and Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi is launching his first collection of NFTs, called “The Messiverse,” made in collaboration with artist Bosslogic. The three NFTs, which will debut on the Ethernity chain on August 20, feature Messi variously as a god, king, and cyborg hero. “The collection is a set of pieces outlining achievements, moments, team love, and future accomplishments focusing mainly on the man himself,” Bosslogic said in a statement. (ESPN)



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