Born in response to a disparity between the London community, The Other Art Fair was eager to discover the next big thing, and also uncover talented artists struggling to gain recognition.
“Five years, twelve editions and two countries on, the effects of [The Other Art Fair’s] growing reputation are not only demonstrated through the support of leading individuals in the art world but also the frequency of success stories from past exhibitors”, affirmed International Fair Director, Laura Richardson. Now, the exhibition comes to Sydney for its debut, hoping to cement connections between Australian artists and local art lovers.
Passionate about cultivating local artistic talent in an industry that presents many barriers, founder Ryan Stainer and the team at The Other Art Fair strives to crack open the ‘elite’ art world; preferring a more inclusive and supportive environment. “We are able to shine light on artists based purely on meritocracy creating a more diverse industry, which ultimately leads to a more profitable art sector,” offers Laura. “All too often artists only gain traction having gone to the right college, live in a major city, are well connected or from financially comfortable backgrounds. This isn’t a reality for most people.”
From October 27-30, Waterloo’s warehouse event space, Commune will play host to over 100 emerging artists; exhibiting over four days to collectors, critics and art-lovers alike. Ensuring a comprehensive and diverse exhibition, The Other Art Fair is curated by a selection committee. From the hundreds of applications received, the top 100 artists take a booth at the annual fair. “The process is driven purely by meritocracy and the selection committee are asked to select 20 artists each who they feel present a strong body of work which will sit well within the fair. This year I am proud to present a stellar committee drawing upon the experience of Ben Quilty, Roslyn Oxley, Amanda Love and Leif Podhajsky,” reveals Laura.
In addition to the invaluable face-to-face time that the selected artists will gain from participating, The Other Art Fair also offer the often inexperienced exhibitors some much needed training and promotion. “In the lead up to the fair we run artists briefings and workshops advising on how best to present their work, themselves, and get the most out of their stand”, explains Laura. “A large part of the fair marketing is focused on promoting the artists, which helps to grow their online presence before, during and after the event. This engages our huge network of gallerists, collectors and critics who are looking for the next big thing.”
Founder Ryan was able to use his extensive experience in large-scale event planning, including London Fashion Week and Art HK, to ensure that The Other Art Fair offers a complete package for both participants and guests. In addition to the exhibition floor, the four-day art extravaganza offers The Others Talk, a schedule of industry expert discussions and presentations, The Others Live, a line-up of emerging musical artists and DJs to ensure the mood and the groove are on-point throughout and The Others Project which includes curated art projects and installation pieces for visitors to interact and examine. They also provide a Kids Create area and welcome an international special guest artist each year, tasked with creating a set of artworks specifically for the fair visited.
A unique platform for emerging artists, The Other Art Fair prides itself on a proven ability to connect artists to their audience. “An attribute to the success of the fair is that collectors, gallerists and critics can connect directly with the artists and engage on a much deeper level. Purchasing art is an incredibly emotional transaction – if you’re able to speak to the artist, learn his process, hear her story and what influenced the work you’re more likely to go through with it the transaction,” offered Laura.
“A key driver beyond helping unrepresented artists commercialise on their incredible skills is to help them gain recognition. The Fair has established itself as an endorsement for great art, which keeps our visitors returning each year,” she touted. “We are proud to say during the last five years of The Other Art Fair, many emerging artists have gone on to secure international representation such as Barcelona-born Ernesto Canovas, Jebila Wolfe Okongwu and Geraldine Swayne who has featured in the Hong Kong Art Fair and the 56th Venice Biennale.”
Attracting an entrepreneurial crowd by nature, The Other Art Fair is a place of both business and pleasure, re-framing the way we consider art and art galleries. Put humbly, “the fair simply connects artists with commercial opportunities and we love watching the success stories unfold,” concluded International Fair Director, Laura Richardson.
The Other Art Fair is on Friday 28th October – Sunday 30th October. Find details and tickets here.