MORE than 6500 art lovers eager to snap up an original piece of contemporary work filed through the doors of Oxford Town Hall over the weekend (Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February 2016) as the city hosted the third Oxford International Art Fair.
The three halls in the venue were packed with over 150 artists and galleries from some 26 countries around the world and the atmosphere was charged with energy as visitors took in the wide range of unique art available and took pieces they had purchased home to adorn a living or work space wall.
Artists and galleries reported bustling trade during the three day free art event, with many making multiple sales and receiving commissions on original paintings, sculptures, photography, prints and illustrations.
One of the exhibitors was Barry Davies a Sculptor from Wales and he said: "What an excellent exhibition!!! I have commissions for five bronze sculptures, a sixth in coldcast bronze a possible invitation by a gallery owner in Cheltenham, personal advice from Christies ex-chairman Richard Knight on marketing and promotion of my work and a lengthy discussion with a Director of a gallery in Berlin whose advice was priceless. I thank you for your professionalism and assistance throughout, and I look forward to exhibiting with you at Oxford in the future."
Alce Harfield who exhibited at the Art Fair from the first edition through to the third said: "Great show this year, it gets better and better, and another sale today from the show!"
Lesley Debson from London said "My stand was in the beautiful main hall at the entrance, and we saw a steady stream of guests all weekend. I sold 7 artworks and had lots of interest, lovely visitors and good atmosphere."
Rupert Aker said: "A great show. I sold 11 paintings and had great conversations with guests and fellow artists alike. I was pleased that I made it to the networking evening as that was great fun. Looking forward to next year!"
Organisers of the fair, Joëlle Dinnage and her business partner Natal Vallvé from the Global Art Agency added their appreciation to the city’s reaction to the event and the enthusiasm they found from artists and visitors alike.
“The third Oxford International Art Fair was a great success, with an amazing atmosphere and a real buzz throughout the weekend,” said Joëlle. “We are very happy with how it all went. The footfall was great, there was a genuine excitement across the halls and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
“Importantly, the artists and galleries had a successful show, selling works, making commissions and simply making connections, which is what the essence of the event is all about. We want to connect artists with people who appreciate art, whether they’re expert collectors or just starting out, and we’re happy to have made very good progress - I am expecting great after-sales for the exhibitors and hoping that connections made will turn into more success for them.
Visitors had the chance to vote for the most popular artist of the event, which was a very good initiative said Chris Smith an art collector from Stanton-Harcourt. "The art fair was very lively with live jazz music, and there was the opportunity to vote for best artist. I was there on Friday evening for the opening with champagne reception which was very well organised. On Sunday I attended the Global Art Awards Ceremony as I was interested to know the results, and I was impressed by the whole show around it. I will certainly visit again."
The Global Art Awards 2016.
Giving Artists the recognition that they deserve and acknowledgement for their hard work. The Awards were judged by Richard Knight (former Christie's Chairman), Bill Heine (BBC Presenter), Esther Lafferty (Artweeks Director), and Kieran Stiles (Tutor and known painter).
Tessa Jane, won the first prize of 'Best Artist Oxford International Art Fair 2016', and was chosen because of the textile artworks she creates. Inspired by poetry the colours, patterns, textures, line and tone are the key elements. “fresh and semi-abstract”. Richard Knight commented that the amount of work that goes into creating the fine details of her work is of great admiration.
Followed by David Nelson who won the second prize of 'Best Artist Oxford International Art Fair 2016' who creates pictures that evoke memories of places, journeys and forgotten feelings.
With Hassan Richter winning the third prize of 'Best Artist Oxford International Art Fair 2016' who's photography art of East Germany situations and environments that were made between 2007 and 2013 - a favourite of the jury as well as the public who voted for him.
And a commendation to Shefford Smith who's illustration art impressed the jury, and had to be named.
Other exhibitors that were amongst the most populair artists of the show voted by the public were: Jeff Murray, Alexander Korzer-Robinson, Sameer Hazari, Alce Harfield, Nicky Chubb, Gregory Emvy, Eka Peradze, Bridget Bernadette Karn, and Sabina Pieper.
Next year's edition of the Oxford International Art Fair will be held at the Oxford Town Hall on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February 2017.