1. Leah, tell us a bit about what we can expect at this year’s edition of the New Artist Fair? Are we in for any surprises ?
We are all incredibly excited about the array of artist’s work we will be exhibiting at this year’s New Artist Fair’s Summer Exhibition. We believe that this edition will prove to be one of the most successful for all of our artists as there is really something for every kind of art buyer. We have returning veteran artists who have a proven sales record from our previous fairs and the new up-and-coming artists, who show tremendous and promising talent and will be exhibiting their work for the first time. We will even have some of our portrait artists painting live to demonstrate their talent and techniques!
2. Other than representing a wide range of emerging and new talent, how else do you work with your artists ?
Considering this is an art fair run by artists, it is truly dedicated to helping other artists make it in London’s art scene. We provide our artists with our experience and expertise in a variety of ways including holding talks about exhibiting and selling their work at art fairs to having a dedicated Facebook page for past and present NewAF artists where they can liaise directly with each other regarding the fair etc. In addition, we opened our online shop at newwartistfair.com where artists can sell their work before, during and after the fair. It is certainly a unique platform as it is only open to artists who have or will be exhibiting with us which means if a buyer missed the exhibition, they can easily find previous exhibiting artists on our website. These are just some of the few ways we try to help artists who exhibit with us.
3. What is the most exciting thing about working with so much emerging talent ?
I think the most exciting thing about working with our new and returning artists is being inspired by their passion to get their work out there. In fact, it has really motivated me as an artist and long-term art lover to keep making and selling my own artwork.
" The most exciting element of it all is seeing how our artists progress in their careers after starting out at the New Artist Fair. We have had so many artists who had never exhibited or even tried to sell their work before our fair, and now they are established artists selling consistently at well-known galleries and numerous online platforms. "
4. How many artists have submitted this year? Can you tell us a bit more about the demographic in terms of age, experience, origin, genre ?
We have around 112 artists exhibiting from the 351 submissions that we accepted on a rolling submission basis. The demographic is as varied as the artwork with ages and ethnicities ranging from a 15 year old of Indian heritage who has exhibited at the Royal College of Art and sold works for multiple charities, to artists in their 70s from England and Italy. We believe that any and everyone who wants to exhibit their artwork should have the opportunity to do so, and that is what the New Artist Fair is all about.
" It just so happens that at this time in the art world the level of emerging artists has risen so high and the talent is out there for everyone to experience. We believe the New Artist Fair is the place to invest in the artists of the future. "
5. In your opinion, why has affordable and emerging art become such a phenomena in the UK art market over the past few years ?
The UK is full of people who love the arts and want to invest in artwork while improving the look of their homes, but many of our visitors have told us countless times that they feel much more comfortable coming to our events to buy art than buying in galleries or online. Our inclusive, no "sales pressure" ethos allows visitors to feel relaxed when they attend our exhibitions, and we hear time and time again that people come to the New Artist Fair not only to invest in art but also to have fun and celebrate the artists who are starting a new revolution in the arts. After 5 successful years, the New Artist Fair has demonstrated to our visitors and collectors that our artists will continue to shape the art market over the coming decade and are worth investing in.
6. How much has the Art Fair business changed over the past few years and do you see it changing further in the next decade? If yes, how so ?
We started out as one of the first art fairs that connected artists directly with the buying public. Our first art fair was a small exhibition of 20 artists including ourselves, and we have now grown to 112 in this latest edition. This shows the willingness for artists to invest in themselves, and the standard of their work continues to grow with every event we host. With our best sales record to date at the last Summer Exhibition, we are also seeing art buyers who are now more interested in investing in this new way of buying art directly from the source.
7. Do you collect art yourself ?
Since starting the New Artist Fair, Oliver and I have begun our own little art collection based mainly on artists who've exhibited at our fairs. We seem to invest in artists that we know we will continue to love in the years to come.
8. What advise would you give to young collectors ?
" Start investing now! Investing in art is not about breaking the bank, it is about finding something you fall in love with and can afford."
It's about finding that special piece you can hang on your wall or put on a shelf and smile at every time you walk by it. My advise would be to find something at our fair that makes you smile and invest in it, and then keep in touch with the artist you buy from as that relationship can also be a very cool experience for both parties.
" I believe artists need art patrons or young collectors just as much as art patrons want to help artists, and the support from young collectors today can start and influence an art revolution tomorrow. "