The Affordable Art Fair
A - FULL WIDTHThe Affordable Art Fair 2012
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In 1996, Will Ramsay opened Will’s Art Warehouse in southwest London. Concentrating on relatively unknown artists not carrying a premium for reputation, meant the gallery was able to offer works from £50 – £2,500 from over 150 artists.
The response Will received to his Art Warehouse inspired him to take his approach to the next level, and 3 years later the Affordable Art Fair was born.
Today, the Affordable Art Fair has become something of a global phenomenon with over 1 million people visiting an Affordable Art Fair, buying over £155 million of art.
A - FULL WIDTHThe Affordable Art Fair Director
Q&A with Nicky Wheeler
Why is it so important to make art accessible for all?
'If you believe, as we passionately do, that art enriches the society that we live in, then you should also believe that it should not be for the few – as William Morris said, 'I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few'.
'Much as barriers have been broken down in the world of fine wine, and world sales have rocketed since the 1990s, so the Affordable Art Fair has helped make art – owning it as well as enjoying it - more accessible for all.'
'It’s no longer the elitist preserve of the very rich. Instead there is a growing band of ordinary people enjoying owning something unique, and artist-made. As a very welcome side-effect, by increasing the sales of original art, this puts more money in the pockets of struggling artists, helping them making a living from art'.
Have you got any advice for first time buyers at the fair?
'Be open-minded about what you are looking for, and come along to the fair without pre-conceived ideas of what you should buy. Just because your neighbour has work by a particular artist it doesn’t mean you must also like it – be prepared to surprise yourself with what captures your eye'.
'Sometimes it isn’t the works that you notice first which haunt you the longest. Only buy work you fall in love with… that way, whether or not your art increases invalue, it will repay you in years of enjoying it'.
'If your budget is limited, consider work from the printmaking studio groups. All the prints at Affordable Art Fair will be artist-made originals, such as screenprints, etchings, linocuts, and all are in limited editions. Prices for these start from as low as £40 for an unframed work'.
Tell us about why the Affordable Art Fair supports the Own Art scheme.
'The OwnArt scheme is another way of helping people on a budget acquire artwork'.
'The instalment scheme spreads the cost over ten months, making it more accessible for many who can’t afford to pay the full price up-front'.
'Anything that makes it easier for people to buy art is a good thing, and there are many galleries exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair who either operate the OwnArt scheme, or run their own instalment scheme'.
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OWN ART: BUY ART WITH 0% INTEREST FREE LOAN
Spread your payments over 10 months, completely interest-free (0% APR Representative) on artwork from over 50 participating online galleries.
Own Art is an Arts Council initiative funded in partnership with Creative Scotland.
Since its inception in 2004, Own Art has helped almost 22,000 people across the UK to buy and invest in the artwork they love.
CULTURELABEL'S TOP 3 AFFORDABLE ART FAIR GALLERIES
Established in 2006 by Falmouth College of Art graduate Sarah Brittain, it has now become a hub for the contemporary arts in the South West.
TAG Fine Arts
Launched in 2007 and specialising particularly in limited editions TAG represent a talented stable of artists.
A Little bit of Art
An online gallery specialising in selling affordable printed artworks.Their commitment is to source a diverse selection of artists, illustrators and printmakers who are using different mediums and techniques to create exciting imagery.