oxford art fair

Art lovers descend on Town Hall for annual fair

ART lovers flocked to Oxford’s Town Hall last weekend for the fifth annual Oxford International Art Fair.

Thousands descended on the free event between Friday and Sunday which brought together ‘the most innovative new work from established and emerging artists and galleries’.

There were works from some 26 countries and a wide range of styles and genres.

Both novice and seasoned art collectors were able to peruse collections, talk to the artists and get pieces specially commissioned.

Among the highlights there was Oxford’s very own watercolour abstract artist Jenny Bowden who showed off her ‘messy hallucinations’ of the dreaming spires.

Bulgarian artist Radi Nedelchev, meanwhile, exhibited his paintings in the ‘naïve art’ style.

Fair organiser Joëlle Dinnage, who hosts and curates the annual event together with her business partner Natal Vallvé from The Global Art Agency praised the event and said it was the bespoke quality that attracted visitors.

She said: “This bustling art fair gives art collectors and enthusiasts a great opportunity to get their hands on art, buying directly from the artist who has travelled all the way to Oxford to show and sell their unique pieces.

“We’ve carefully selected the artists and galleries showing their work, so that only the most innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art is shown at the fair.

“We have added exclusive events like the VIP sneak preview on the opening night and the chance to vote for the best work on show, adding up to a really special experience for the visitor and indeed the exhibitor.

“With the beautiful town hall making up the backdrop to the event, it really is a fantastic chance to witness some of the most impressive art close up, meet the artists behind it and enjoy a truly inspirational day out.”

One of the host of exhibitors, Wei Zheng, flew in from New York for the show along with her abstract canvases, and her teddy bear.

The 19-year old said: “I’m an art student in New York but I thought I should come over to Oxford to show my work at the fair.

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THE OIAF Best artist awards

In third place, the panel (Richard Knight - Ex-Chairman Christie's Auction House, Esther Lafferty - Artweeks Organiser, Kieran Stiles - Art Tutor) chose Scottish artist John Ryan for his bright and evocative landscapes, rich with vibrant colours and warmth, as if packed with memories of holidays, of times past and futures promised. John has been a regular exhibitor with Oxford international art fair since it began five years ago so we’re very pleased to see his work commended by the judges.

Second place was awarded to Kristjana Williams an Icelandic born artist who creates delicate fine art pieces from digitally collaging many wonderful detailed elements from the natural world, both flora and fauna. Her collection on show at the IOAF included intricate multi-layered 3D paper cuts, traditional maps with nature overlaid from which you find it hard to tear your eyes, prints of city-skylines and even some contemporary portraiture, all in her signature style.

And the winner of this years OIAF was Bogdan Mihai Radu, a Romanian artist whose works spoke volumes at the entrance to the show. On an immense scale that’s immersive, Bogdan’s abstracted expressionism is bold and striking, dense with mood and emotion telling a story of his life, a traumatic episode and a challenging psychological state with which Bogdan worked through in these paintings. ‘I cannot live without painting,’ says Bogdan, ‘because it’s only when I paint that I feel truly alive.’ He is thrilled to have won this award.  

Bogdan Mihai Radu

Bogdan Mihai Radu

The fair is expected to return next year.

Chinese American artist Wei Zheng delves deeply into her complex mind of absurdity. OIAF 2018 Exhibitor

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Wei V. Zheng born: Indiana USA, living in New York City. 

With guidance from Chinese contemporary artist Sun Liangang, the young and emerging Chinese American artist Wei Zheng delves deeply into her complex mind of absurdity and creates simplistic-like paintings each with intimate and memorable meanings. Try and locate yet understand where the artist is coming from with her ideas and thoughts.

Can you tell us what your 'Before I Die' is…?

  • Before I die, I want to travel the world and visit galleries and museums with my pal Brent the bear.

Best Commissioned artwork ever done was…?

  • When I was in elementary school, I drew and designed a Hello Kitty at the Taj Mahal, and one of my peers offered me $5 USD and a carton of strawberry milk for it.

Which are your favorite artists…?

  • This may sound cliche, but I really enjoy Rene Magritte and Vincent van Gogh since they’re known for their styles. Not only that, I wholeheartedly admire Amedeo Modigliani and Carolee Schneemann because I’ve seen their works in museums and was publicly seen as a sobbing mess.

Best exhibition ever participated in…?

  • The best exhibition I’ve ever participated in was in my parents’ living room. Actually, I still have ongoing exhibitions there...almost all of my works are still on display.

What makes your art different than others…?

  • My art uses unfamiliar materials like my tears.

Instagram: wavyweiv

Yulia Lisle "Throughout our life we are always connecting with art" OIAF 2018 Exhibitor


What is your definition of art?

Throughout our life we are always connecting with art. Because art surrounds our daily life in various forms. Many people depict art as a drawing or a picture however I believe that everything in our life is linked to art or is an art form in itself.

Best exhibition ever participated in?

In 2017 I held a solo exhibition in the Odessa museum of western and eastern art. The theme of the event was the four elements (Fire, wind, water and air). My artworks were split into these four elements. However they remained united through a singular subject matter of the natural floral world.

Techniques I use to create my artworks are?

I love the viscosity and thick richness of oil paint which I prefer to smear in large quantities over the canvas. Using a palette knife I can build volume and manipulate the paint to create three dimensional features to my works. Also I am always attracted to vibrant and bold colours which often take up most of my canvas during the process of creating my works.

What drives you?

Firstly I am always striving to capture the true brilliance, perfection and opulence of our planet through my choice of colour and brush stroke. Also the emotions and events that occur throughout my daily push me towards my goal and plans.

I know my artwork is finished when?

I know that the process of creating my art is complete when see and mostly feel that my painting has reached a balance within itself an eternal serenity that blankets the colours and subjects of my paintings. Most importantly the painting has to be in harmony.


Izabela Venuso "strives to capture the essence..." OIAF 2018 Exhibitor

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Izabela Venuso is a Polish artist living in Birmingham, UK. 

From her earliest years, Izabela has had a fascination with art but has never undertaken any formal study of the subject.  The direction of her life totally changed when she met an art teacher who developed and refined her skills, and ultimately influenced her preference in painting portraits.

In her portrait painting, Izabela strives to capture the essence of her subjects’ character and mood, their favourite objects, and the unique living environment of their cosy homes.

 Her choice of artist’s name ‘Venuso’ is a combination of love, attraction, and ambition.

Where do you see your art going in ten years…?

With the interest I get now from the British public, there is a great possibility that I can make it very far in my artistic career. I would definitely like to grow my clientele data base for commissioned portraits internationally.

Which are your favorite artists…?

I have many favorite artists like Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, Vermeer, Monet, Thomas Gainsborough and many more. However, my heart was stolen by the greatest Dutch portrait painter - Rembrandt.  I am mesmerized with his technique of capturing the faces of his models. He is a very popular artist and people all over the world still admire his work nowadays. 

Greatest achievements so far…?

Really understanding the difference between high quality/technique in the paintings.

Would love to exhibit my work in …?

Portrait Art Gallery in London. 

What is your biggest dream…?

To be successful in the art field and be remembered by the future generations.

What makes your art different than others…?

I was told that I am capable to paint portraits with feelings. I can capture the eyes and faces that you can feel the soul of the sitter in the painting.

Website url: www.venuso.co.uk

Twitter: @VenusoArt

Facebook: VenusoArt

Instagram: VenusoArt

Yasmine Badawi "I like to paint which enables me to create my own world to get lost in" OIAF 2018 EXHIBITOR

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Yasmine Badawi was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2001, and is currently studying at the Anglo-American school of Moscow, Russia. Growing up in many different countries, her interactions with different cultures grew tremendously making her want to explore and make something out of herself. She has always been fascinated by art but never really knew until an art store opened up near her house from which she decided to buy a few blank canvases and see what happens. This led to her discovering her passion, mainly in painting and she then started creating many artworks. Being a self-taught Egyptian artist, a year later, she started exploring the idea of marketing her work and getting feedback in order to understand what her passion can lead to. Then came her first month-long exhibition in Cairo, Egypt in order to raise awareness to two cancer hospitals and a heart institute. In that same month, she donated an interactive artwork to children from the children’s cancer hospital and spent the day coloring that big drawing with them. What she was extremely grateful for was her participation acceptance for the Oxford International Art Fair of 2018, as this has given her the opportunity to reach people internationally on a much bigger scale. She plans to major in Architecture at an art school in 2019 in order to start her career and still be connected to her passion.

What is your definition of art…?

Art is the ability to show the world what you can’t necessarily explain, and to help yourself when no one else can. It is not necessarily just a way to express oneself, but more a way to escape reality. Whether it is the art of writing, painting, photographing, singing, sculpting or other, it consumes the artist and takes them to another universe where only their work matters. Some people read to explore another world and forget about their own, or some people go for a walk to breathe some fresh air to calm down; I like to paint which enables me to create my own world to get lost in, my own vision of how things should be. Art has the ability to make us doubt the obvious and reality by recreating what we know to be true in another form. Yes, artists tend to reveal their emotions through the color schemes and the image itself, however sometimes what is more important is just the act of losing oneself in an action. When I paint, it is not to show others if I’m happy or sad, but it is to forget everything around me, which is why I would stay until 3 am painting and just forget the concept of sleep. Everything from my normal life would just disappear until I finished my piece. I put some music on, prepare everything and simply start drawing on a white canvas. Watching the before and after of it all provides such satisfaction that nothing else could replace. Even the simple feel of the paint on the paintbrush while mixing colors and the power to create different shades of color feels so surreal. That’s why I believe that there is so much more to art than people think.

Can you tell us what you have going on right now…?

As an IB student, I am lately focusing on creating new art and exploring different medias, however, the main difference is that I am finally starting to give more meaning to my work. The most meaningful piece I have is my tryptic called “Revealed”. During the process of painting it, I constantly kept modifying the final outcome in order to send a message to people who could relate. This is just an example of what I have been focusing on: giving a meaning to my work, letting my art speak to the audience and making it powerful.

Which are your favorite artists…?

Among my favorite artists is Banksy. Although I haven’t explored street art yet, his work inspires me the most. His dedication, his challenges, his goals and especially the messages that he conveys through his art are what I love most. Every time I have to deal with artist’s block, I think back to Banksy’s work and try to get inspired by finding something meaningful to me that I would like to stand up for. From there, I start brainstorming and my ideas come through. His work definitely affects mine and I’m even planning on working on a few pieces closer to his type of work and possibly more simplistic soon. Another artist would be Ganzeer. He’s an Egyptian street artist and graphic novelist. I admire his work and how he saw the Egyptian Revolution from 2011-2013 as an opportunity for his art. He inspires me to go after what I want no matter what and I love his view on street art. For him, it should be okay to express oneself publically instead of just framing certain works of art and leave them hidden behind walls in a museum. Street art is a way for people to communicate with each other anonymously and possibly create big things where people can complete each other’s work and making it bigger and better. I’d love to have the possibility to exhibit my work publically in Egypt like Banksy and Ganzeer, and make people reflect over it, possibly affecting their lives.

What is your biggest dream…?

My biggest dream is to be a mother opening her own art gallery. As a teenager, I’ve created this perfect image of what my dream life would be and I’ve already planned everything. I hope to grow up and work as an architect while always painting during my free time and to relax. I would then be a stay at home mom designing my own gallery. I’ve already thought of the layout, the function and the design of it all. I hope that no matter where life takes me, that I’ll at least be able to make that dream come true.

What makes your art different than others…?

I believe that what makes my art different is the fact that I’m still experimenting with different medias, different themes and haven’t just started a trend in my work with which I feel comfortable. This allows me to have the freedom to shape my work in any way I feel and to not be limited by what I have already done. Also, I don’t focus on the art market as much as some people do. I don’t think whether my art will please a certain audience, or if it fits some certain criteria which will make it sell as long as I personally like the outcome and the meaning. I have been focusing on the lack of perfection in art lately with my work like with my two paintings “Labelled” and “Hidden perfection”. The point is to expose how an artist feels after completing an artwork. Personally, there isn’t one painting of mine that I can look at without seeing a flaw. This is the concept that no art is perfect and that no matter what, we will never be able to please everyone because there will always be something wrong with it.

Website url: https://www.instagram.com/yassartszy/

Instagram: @yassartszy




Georgia Argyropoulos "The feminine desires are celebrated in my work" OIAF 2018 Exhibitor


I am an Impressionistic artist who focuses on the atmosphere in a scene and I feel driven to express myself through light. How it falls on a scene, what emotion that evokes. My creative process is sensual and very personal. I feel compelled to be fully engaged in the process. It is never enough to just record what I see. I need to feel the canvas and the oils on my fingertips. I need to breath in the heady smells. I love the sound of that connection between the canvas and I. It becomes a real, living experience. It sounds strange to explain. And of course, visually its stimulating to see a thing come alive under you. I use my fingertips as a paint brush and as a personal marker on each canvas, sometimes touching a canvas hundreds or even thousands of times before a work is completed. I often forget to sign my work because my personal stamp is already all over it. Its obviously mine.

The feminine desires are celebrated in my work. Though emancipated from the restrictions of the outdated role of being a women, we still find joy in our homes and traditions, and this joy is timeless. The joy we derive keep many of us enslaved in mundane activities in and around our homes. This strange joy will be celebrated in my work. I guess I'm making a statement on some level. Yes, yes... well done womans lib thank you, but I'm still stuck in my role. On some level its instinctual I guess. Nesting instinct?

Where do you get your inspiration?


I feel compelled to record the atmosphere created by the light coming through. It marks a scene in its own particular way and an emotion is evoked. When I consider that a light source billions of miles away can filter through the ozone, beam through the clouds, come through my little window and effect how I FEEL about an arrangement? THAT'S my inspiration. I feel that connection to the source of light, I want to record how that light specifically effects my little life at that exact point in time.

How do you deal with artist's block

I recently experienced this for the first time. I had an emotional loss of epic proportions, very hard to define. Extreme. The resulting mourning period stole all my desires to create. I overcame this black period by filling my soul with art. I decided to fill the void with all the beauty and healing that art has to offer. Each beautiful Monet, van Gogh, Degas, Cezanne I gazed over was a building block, setting up an imaginary bridge over the dark, back to the light of creativity. My first attempt to create something was as basic as scratching a pencil over a stencil. Thats how low my creative ebb and flow was. My first oil painting after this dark period of mourning was a robust Nelson Mandela Strelitzia, standing firmly planted in its natural environment on South African soil with a dreamlike quality to the night sky behind it. I felt like I was saying, I'm home. As If I had been lost and wandering about the earth without that freedom to create.

I know my artwork is finished when...

When I can literally not touch it once more with a fingerprint, a pallet knife or a paint brush. And because I NEVER feel that exact point in the creativity process, my work is never completed. Its literally finished when its sold and carried away with wet paint patches and me running after it to "just do one more thing." Being a bit of a perfectionist is hard when your creative outlet is impressionistic. But I would freak out if I was attempting to be a camera, so really, being an impressionist is a saftey measure for my sanity.

Most looking forward to this exhibition because...

I am most looking forward to this exhibition because it is my first international exhibition and the third in my fledgling art career. Im generally terrified of crowds and prefer to be invisible so this amazing opportunity also gives me a chance to face my fears and insecurities. And what an amazing opportunity to be able to be here as an artist at the Oxford International Art Fair! Its really a dream I never even dared to contemplate. I was forced into the first two exhibitions. To be here at this level is such a motivation to allow art to fully take over my life. It has given me a license to do what makes me happiest in this world and that is to record it in my own special hands-on way.

Inspiring art to enjoy at the fifth annual Oxford International Art Fair

Oxford Town Hall, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK

23-25 February 2018

Art by James Early 

Art by James Early 

12th February 2018:  Art lovers will get the chance to come face to face with some of the world's most exciting contemporary art created by leading artists on the modern art scene at this year's Oxford International Art Fair, which takes place in the city from 23rd - 25th February 2018.

Oxford's art fair, now in its fifth successful year, brings together some of the most innovative new work from established and emerging artists and galleries, gathered under the roof of one of the city's most iconic buildings. 

Inside the magnificent 19th century Oxford Town Hall on St Aldate's in the heart of the city, will be an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, illustrations, photographs, ceramics, jewellery and much more, presented for sale and simply to admire by the artists themselves.

Novice and seasoned art lovers alike will be able to peruse the collections, talk to the artists who created them, pick out a piece to buy or even have one specially commissioned for a home or office wall.  Or they can just wander through the three halls taking in the rich collection of artwork on display.

The art on show over the three day weekend event, which is free to attend, will have travelled from over 26 countries around the world, as well as there being a sizeable collection from closer to home presented by UK based artists and galleries.  It all adds up to a perfectly inspiring day out in the City of Dreaming Spires, which is less than an hour away from London by train.

"This bustling art fair gives art collectors and enthusiasts a great opportunity to get their hands on art, buying directly from the artist who has travelled all the way to Oxford to show and sell their unique pieces," says art fair organiser Joëlle Dinnage, who hosts and curates the annual event along with her business partner Natal Vallvé from The Global Art Agency.

Han Sheng Huang

Han Sheng Huang

"We've carefully selected the artists and galleries showing their work, so that only the most innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art is shown at the fair, added exclusive events like the VIP sneak preview on the opening night and the chance to vote for the best work on show, adding up to a really special experience for the visitor and indeed the exhibitor," she says.

Some of many highlights from this year's art fair include work from the following artists:

·      Taiwan based artist and lifestyle blogger Han-Sheng Huang (www.hshuang.co)

Jenny Bowden

Jenny Bowden

·      One of the UK's leading portrait artists James Earley (www.jamesearleyartist.com)

·      Bulgarian artist Radi Nedelchev, best known as a painter of naïve art (www.radinedelchevart.com)

·      Oxford watercolour abstract artist Jenny Boden (http://jennybowdenart.com)

·      Painter Edward Ofosu who lives and works in London (www.edwardofosu.com)

"With the beautiful town hall, a jewel at the heart of the historic city of Oxford, making up the backdrop to the event, it really is a fantastic chance to witness some of the most impressive art close up, meet the artists behind it and enjoy a truly inspirational day out.  Why not make a weekend out of it and enjoy all that Oxford has to offer while you're here?" she adds.

The fifth Oxford International Art Fair takes place from 6pm to 9pm on Friday 23rd February and from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th February 2018 at Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 1BX.  Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance by going to www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com.

Tickets for the exclusive art fair preview, which takes place from 6pm to 9pm on Friday 23rd February and cost £10 to include a glass of champagne and live music, are available in advance from www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com/tickets/


Press contacts:

Sarah Pracey + 44 7985 112 777 / sarah@praceypr.com


Joëlle Dinnage (Oxford based) + 44 (0) 7825 443925

office@globalartagency.com / joelle.dinnage@gmail.com       www.joelledinnage.com


Oxford open for art business at the fourth Oxford International Art Fair

Oxford Town Hall, 24th to 26th February 2017

09 February 2017:  It's been widely reported that the art market today is on the rise again, having emerged from a turbulent 12 months. Sotheby's benchmark figures from 2016 show a total of $4.1 billion auction sales, slightly down on 2015, but every indication is that 2017 is set to be a promising year.

With key works like Edvard Munch's 'Girls on the Bridge' selling for $54.5 million at Sotheby's New York in November, real business is being done.  There is a feeling of optimism and now could be just the moment to buy art, whether you are looking for a piece to decorate your home or interested in art as an investment.

Visiting an art fair, like the Oxford International Art Fair which takes place later this month in the city, can be a great way of finding out what's available on the market and buying wisely.  Art fairs bring together a large selection of artworks of different styles and media from a variety of artists under one roof, with scope to look round, talk to the artists and take your time before buying.

With over 120 UK and international artists taking part in this year's free-to-attend Oxford International Art Fair over the weekend of 24th to 26th February 2017, there will be ample opportunity to see work from up and coming artists as well as more established names.

Riejanne Boeschoten

Riejanne Boeschoten

Leila Kanso -  Canadian Lebanese, living thirty six years oversees, achieving twelve years of intensive individual art formation with prominent masters. Riejanne Boeschoten - Netherlands. The extraordinary of ordinary things: that is what inspires Boeschoten. She paints her subjects mega large and ultra precise, making their overwhelming beauty touch you unexpectedly. Mujeeb Kehar (Gabriela) - UAE. Kehar’s inspiration and believes come from PEACE. Creating contemporary sign of “Peace is always beautiful”.

Mujeeb Kehar

Mujeeb Kehar

Exciting new work from young Barcelona-based artist Soph Pepolo (www.pepoloart.com), who employs artistic techniques such as watercolour and ink to recall impromptu scenes of daily life alongside deeper, philosophical soul-searching pieces, will be on show.  Photographer / artist Dagur Jonsson (www.dagurjonssonphotography.com) will also be presenting his haunting photographs of Icelandic landscapes that capture the beauty of isolation and being alone in nature.

With high profile pieces such as an original Damien Hirst on show from the London-based InVogue Art Gallery, there is ample opportunity to see perhaps one of the most varied collections of contemporary art, with the chance to buy original pieces directly from the artist.  

All the artists chosen to attend the Oxford International Art Fair have been carefully selected by a team of Curators under the lead of award-winning art entrepreneur Joelle Dinnage, who through The Global Art Agency runs a series of large-scale international art fairs around the world with her business partner Natal Vallvé.  Only this week Ms Dinnage was nominated for three categories in the prestigious Venus Awards 2017, for Female Entrepreneur, Inspirational Woman and Business Mother.

About this year's Oxford event, Joelle says:  "We're expecting the art fair to be a highlight event in the calendar with a real buzz that captures the excitement in the industry at the moment, with so much vibrant new work emerging.

"Business is brisk and we'll be joined by some of the most prominent emerging contemporary artists who are travelling from as far as Kenya, Australia and the USA to show their work.  There will be so much to inspire as well as to buy, whether your liking is for paintings, photographs, jewellery or sculpture.  You can even help nominate the best artists taking part in the fair, by voting over the weekend in the Oxford International Awards 2017," she says.  "Simply vote on your 'phone during your visit and follow the action live on Twitter and Facebook."

Leila Kanso

Leila Kanso

The art fair starts on Friday 24th February at 6pm with a special private view and vernissage attended by selected artists.  Tickets, which include a glass of Catalan Cava and live jazz, cost £10 and can be booked at http://www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com/vernissage/.

Entry to the rest of the fair is free and tickets can be pre-booked by going to www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com/tickets.

The Oxford International Art Fair 2017 takes place at Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX, from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February 2017, from 11am to 6pm.  For more information please go to http://www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com/


Press contacts:

Sarah Pracey 07985 112 777 / sarah@praceypr.com


Joëlle Dinnage (Oxford based) 07825 443925

office@globalartagency.com / contact@joelledinnage.com