Very pleased to learn that my application to join ArtCan has been successful. Looking forward to working with them, meeting the other members and finding out about what they have planned for the coming year.
ArtCan is a non-profit arts organisation that supports artists through profile raising activities and exhibitions, an open network of ‘likeminded’ peers, and practical support structures.
Being in the middle of a studio move, I’ve not had time to post anything about the New Artist Fair, in which I showed some work earlier this month. This was the first time I have taken part in an art fair, and it was quite an education. After observing how the crowds interacted with the works, and seeing how the more experienced exhibitors displayed their work, I soon learned some valuable lessons about presentation and “product placement”.
As for this particular fair, I found it to be very well organised – the organisers are very friendly and obviously interested in Art. The pricing is reasonable, and at no stage did i feel that I was being ripped off – there were no hidden extras to surprise you on the day. The fair was very well attended on each of the three days, which shows just how well the organisers promote the event.
Despite all my praise, I am not sure if I would take part in it again. When I booked, I was told there were only 2m spaces left, which is more suited to smaller works. The biggest problem with having such a small space was that I couldn’t sit or stand in front of my work without obstructing the view of half my paintings. The fair enjoyed a healthy number of sales over the three days, but most of them will have been for lower value items under £250. The only piece I sold was a smaller portrait at under £200 – I feel that the £400-£500 prices of most of my work are not that attractive to impulse buyers. I would only consider taking part again if I had a larger selection of smaller works that I could offer at more affordable prices, and perhaps some prints and drawings.
My lasting impression from this event was the pleasure of meeting such a nice group of artists, who were all so friendly and helpful, and helped make the fair such an enjoyable experience. A special thanks to Sam Gare,Precious Murphy, Pete Fraser, Frances Bloomfield, Tolu Magbagbeola and Ruby Lewis, who have restored my faith in the artistic fraternity.
I shall be taking part in the Estuary Fringe festival this year. Their website is estuaryfringe.weebly.com and their Facebook page can be found here, where they have the following description of the event:
The Estuary Fringe was created with the aim of taking art back from the pretentious art elites who have somehow insinuated themselves into the borough and hand it back to the local community, to everyone, where it belongs. Dreamt up by four fools from Southend and under the direction of the fringes creative director John Bulley, hold on “creative director”, that’s art bollocks, the fringe is about anarchic fun without the guilt. The first festival in June 2013 was incredibly successful. Organised in just 7 weeks with no money and no idea what we were letting ourselves in for, we were blown away by just how well it all went, so we have decided to do it all again this year. Over 9 days in August this year’s festival will be bigger and better with even more artist, local, national and international from all genres, painters and musicians, graffiti artists, poets, performance artists, the festival really will have it all as this year we are pleased to announce that we will have theatrical productions and independent films as well. The Estuary Fringe Festival, from Saturday 2nd August until Sunday 10th August. Come see what’s on and enjoy. No need to pay £10 + booking fee for tickets, its free… just turn up, join in and have fun… The Estuary Fringe Production Team….
Last week I paid a visit to my local art gallery, WOA, to see local Southend artist Becky Walker putting up her multimedia art installation. It seemed to involve the use of a couple of projectors, what seemed to be miles and miles of clingfilm, and possibly beer cans.
I thought it brave of the gallery to give free rein to the artist to put on this event, which included rearranging the displayed artwork to suit her installation. The gallery was open all the time, and it was interesting viewing the reaction of a couple of visitors while I was there. This particular gallery puts a great importance on the active involvement of their participating artists; it positively encourages it. As such it is a great opportunity for emerging and local artists. Especially those who work in the multimedia field, who might otherwise have difficulty finding suitable venues for their offerings. And to be able to put on a show in an open gallery along quite a busy road.., well, that’s priceless.
The WOA gallery currently has openings for artists. The fee they charge, £20/month, really only covers costs, and as I said, they are always looking to host events. Any enquiries should be directed to Jon or Carra at the address below. More details can be found on their website.
You can visit the WOA gallery @
28 Hamlet Court Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea,
Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, SS0 7LX,