Where the world’s best unrepresented, undiscovered talent can
connect directly with buyers and art lovers in an environment
celebrating creativity and encouraging participation.
With work on display by 100 independent artists worldwide, the fair, which includes an impressive and eclectic programme of activities and entertainment, looks set to be the most interesting, fun and varied of the year so far!
Activities and entertainment surrounding the exhibitions include live music from London’s best unsigned musicians, theatrical performance, film screenings, interactive kids art sessions, discussions with organisers and artists, curated walks around the fair, mentor programmes, food stalls, cocktail bars and more.
The fair, originally a platform for London-based artists and now in its fourth year, attracts applicant from across the world and has fast become an important international platform for independent artists. The 100 artists were carefully selected by a panel of experts and and have all curated their own individual stands in which to sell work directly to the public.
Fair director, Ryan Stainer, kindly took some time to talk to me about the fair just days before the opening…
Firstly congratulations on another year which looks already set to be bigger and better than ever before! Why do you think it’s become so popular?
“Thank you, well it’s certainly our intention to keep building on its success. I think it’s becoming increasingly popular for a combination of reasons: firstly people enjoy interacting directly with artists and hearing about their work, secondly we ensure that each fair looks and feels different. Running the fair every 6 months means that we have to work hard to introduce new ideas and experiences. This year I’m particularly excited to host the ‘100 Mothers’ exhibition curated by Harry Pye and collaborate with Mo Coppoletta who will be tattooing visitors live each day at the fair.”
You’ve obviously created a relaxed and fun environment through fun, family-friendly activities and interactive elements. What’s the benefit of this approach, both for the artists and guests?
“I’m passionate about creating an art fair that is appealing and accessible. I think the word “accessible” is used too frequently in the art world as a way of encouraging visitors and the organisers often fail to deliver on this promise. I believe that if you create a situation where guests are entertained and can interact, you create an environment conducive to discovering art.”
What input do CultureLabel, Jotta and other partners have in the fair?
“CultureLabel currently provide an online platform for participating artists to create and manage their profile on their website. This links through www.theotherartfair.com and enables artists to sell work with The Other Art Fair all year around. There is no cost for artists to set up a CultureLabel profile. Jotta is our curatorial partner and assists in everything from choosing musicians to allocating stands for artists.”
How does the selection process work and how are the committee chosen?
“Artists are invited to apply for the fair through our website. Once we reach 500 applications the website closes and their work is presented to our selection committee. The committee then selects 100 artists to participate in the fair. This whole process takes place online.”
The fair is a really important platform for independent artists, what advice would you give emerging self-represented talent for promoting and selling their work in London?
“There are a number of websites that are good for supporting the sale of art for artists. There are many opportunities for collaborative projects and group shows. Contacts are key – don’t miss any opportunity to follow up potential buyers or followers. If anyone has shown an interest in your work, be proactive – invite them to your studio and exhibitions.”
Lastly are there any artists in particular that you would suggest looking out for this year?
“The photography section, ‘Photo 15’ is gaining in strength since it’s introduction in November 2012. We have an increase in the number of sculptors which adds an interesting element. With key artists returning to exhibit again alongside 80 new artists, I wouldn’t say that I have favourites but it’s looking to be our strongest fair to date.”
For the full list of exhibiting artists and more on the fair or to buy tickets visit www.theotherartfair.com
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Enjoy the fair!