It’s no secret that I’ve always been a strong supporter of local art events in Northamptonshire. As a result I will be showing my work in the 43rd Alderton Art Festival. The festival held over Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September as always will host an exhibition and sale of paintings. Furthermore, there are also craft stalls, beer tent and musical entertainment.
Set in the picturesque village of Alderton, South Northamptonshire, the festival will feature many high quality local artists. Above all this is a festival that is well supported with something for all art lovers. I will have some original paintings and prints on show for sale. Therefore, for Northamptonshire art lovers the festival is well worth a visit. So come along and have a look.
I have just finished the Talented Art Fair 2019 https://www.talentedartfair.com/ so I thought it would be good to give you my take on it. My first impression? It was the sheer volume of visitors to the fair that continued throughout the weekend that impressed me. The flow of visitor traffic did not let up, whether buying or simply browsing. This created a great environment for the artist, and I personally found it stimulating. In my case I did sell some paintings which added to the experience. However, regardless of sales the ability for artists to discuss their work face to face with the general public is important.
For the viewer and buyer the art on display and for sale was diverse and engaging. This was the key to the Talented Art Fair’s success – there was something for everyone. In my case it was also a good opportunity to demonstrate a portrait painting. My demo provided a good insight into how I work and how I produce my art. Judging by the interest, comments and questions I received, viewers were interested and engaged.
What was really noticeable was that the the fair was a friendly event. Both the public and other exhibitors were approachable and supportive. Furthermore, this made the experience of exhibiting a good one. So would I exhibit at the Talented Art Fair again? The answer would be yes. This was a well organised and positive fair. Selling paintings does add to a good experience, but artists can definitely use the fair to improve their exposure. Overall a thumbs up for the Talented Art Fair.
The Talented Art Fair #talentedartfair2019 is one of the most successful independent art fairs in London. This fair has quickly established itself as a platform for emerging and established artists to sell their work. Above all, it is a fair offering affordable work for the general buying public.
For me it is an opportunity to engage and make a connection with art lovers and buyers. Being involved with like-minded artists in a well organised and friendly event is a great way to do this. What better way to display your artwork than in such an environment. For example, in a previous blog post you can read my thoughts on the growing importance of fairs. http://www.cordellgarfield.com/2018/09/25/art-fairs-the-way-forward-to-buying-art/
I will be showing a series of portraits and figurative work, some of which will be musical icons at the Talented Art Fair. Furthermore all of my artwork will be on sale. The fair runs from Friday 1st March to Sunday 3rd March. Hope you can get along to have a look.
The Northampton Town & County Art Society is holding it’s latest annual exhibition at the Abington Park Musuem. Set up in 1913 this long standing art society continues to exhibit regularly. Our members and associates continue to produce high quality artwork, making the Society the county’s premier art group.
I’ve exhibited some of my work at these shows http://www.cordellgarfield.com/gallery/landscapes/, and I would recommend a visit to a Society show. A range of the county’s diverse artwork is always on show at the Society’s exhibitions. For instance, you will find original paintings, drawings, printed media or sculptures all produced by society members.
The Abington Park Museum exhibition runs until 20th January 2019. Opening hours are normally 12pm to 4pm and admission is free. You will need to check with the museum for opening days over the Christmas Holiday period (https://www.facebook.com/AbingtonMuseum/).
“The lack of exhibiting space in the county is a worry”. I often hear this from other Northamptonshire artists I meet.
With the temporary closure of the Central Museum and the current state of Northampton town centre in particular, local artists are concerned. Where can we show our work? How can we engage with the county’s art lovers?
However, despite all the current doom and gloom I would like to sing the praises of local outlets and galleries. These are outlets where I have sold paintings, so I have personal experience of their importance. They “fly the flag” for art and paintings in Northamptonshire.
A well established gallery at Thrapston exhibiting original paintings and prints of not only national but local artists as well. The gallery has a good set up supported by framing and painting restoration services as well. Primrose is a strong supporter of local artists, culminating with the annual “Not the Open Studios” exhibition.
Opened in August 2017 at Weedon’s 19th century Royal Ordnance Depot on an impressive historic site overlooking the canal. It is fast establishing itself as an important exhibition space. The gallery has hosted artwork and photographs from local and national artists. It also supports exhibitions by the Northampton Town & County Art Society and the South Northants Open Studio Trail.
Whether it’s paintings, vintage clothing, old vinyls, ceramics or furniture this independent retailer has it. Only open since August 2018 it is located on Northampton’s “hidden gem” St. Giles Street. It has quickly built a reputation as a “must-visit” venue. The works of local artists are shown throughout the store and emporium.
A contemporary art space in the centre of Northampton, and home to my studio. It has an international programme of contemporary art, but also supports local artists through its project space and open studios. The gallery has recently hosted the Northampton Urban Sketchers. ( https://www.facebook.com/events/urban-sketchers-northampton/)
This is only a small sample of current exhibiting space in Northamptonshire. It’s good to see art is alive and kicking in the county.
If I wanted to buy a painting or sculpture at a reasonable price where would I start? I suppose I could visit a gallery or buy on the internet. There is nothing wrong in doing this, the selection on the internet is vast. You can can see websites devoted to all artwork, with both artists and galleries exhibiting their wares. Likewise, a gallery visit can unearth some great art, particularly with limited edition prints. But is that always the way you should buy art? What about the art fair?
The writer Alan Bennett once said:
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought unique and particular to you.”
Bennett makes a good point, but not only just for reading. I personally feel paintings and drawings are similar, our emotional response to a painting is why we might buy it. We are often looking for images, colours, designs and subjects that chime with what we like or what we feel. Sometimes a painting can take us back to our childhood, for example a landscape or even sporting or musical icon. Price is a factor, but often we’ll pay a little more for something we like. For me Bennett’s quote holds firm for buying art, it can be emotional.
So can the internet help here? Of course it can, but it operates as a more functional commercial transaction with art. You may read some information on the artist to give you a feel on the artist’s inspiration. But the interaction is obviously at “arm’s length”, and you don’t see the art “in the flesh”. You cannot have the full picture of what drives and inspires the artist on every painting. My view is that the internet is a great way to introduce artists to the buying public. Instagram is a good example of broadening the artist’s network and admirers. On the way the artist may sell some paintings, but there are no guarantees.
Galleries will offer a good compromise on the remoteness of the internet. A good gallery who knows the artist well will know what makes the artist tick. They will be able to provide the buyer with some information on background, inspiration and techniques used. This all helps with the decision on buying, with the bonus of being able to see artwork first hand. But there is something missing in all this interaction – yes that’s right, the artist!
But do you need the artist present in the commercial transaction of buying art? Probably not. If you like a painting for whatever reason, you don’t need the artist present to talk you through why you should buy it. However, in this age of click to buy/Amazon next day delivery maybe things are changing. Whether it’s the artisan, ethical marketplace or craft beers there is a move towards authenticity. More people want to know the origins of what they are buying. This is where the growing number of art fairs fit in.
An art fair is open to the public, a sort of visual emporium with numerous artists displaying their work. Why art fairs are important is that this ‘authenticity’ is on show. In some cases you can see artists working on painting demonstrations, a great way of seeing art in action. Not only can you see the artwork, but you can find out what is the inspiration behind a painting. You can find about the art techniques used and why an artist works in a certain way. Also, so many artists have an interesting story as to how they became an artist as well!
I recommend whether you’re an art buyer or a budding artist looking to exhibit, start with smaller satellite art fairs. There are a huge number running throughout the country. I have visited some of them in preparation for exhibiting my own work. Here are some links to some popular art fairs: