Art festivals are energetic epicentres for artists, gallerists, collectors and art enthusiasts.
As an artist you can go to these festivals to meet with gallery owners and get a sense of what they do, who they represent and how they present their artists. Though this is not the moment to try and get representation by these galleries you can at least get a better sense of who they are. This is key as it can be hard to get a sense of what a gallery is like from looking at their website alone. Many international galleries are represented at these art fairs so it's a great opportunity to see them in person.
This could be the ultimate artist vacation as you get a chance to actually experice the art in person instead of on a website. There is such a large amount of work to see that you will get that creative saturation that gets your creativity sparked.
Another benefit of seeing this much work from all over the globe is that you can get a sense of what the current dialogue is in the arts and this may help you understand where your artwork fits into the dialogue. You may notice trends in galleries from the UK or elsewhere or some kind of common underlying theme in some of the work. It could be a very interesting study of what is currently happening in contemporary art.
I have yet to attend a really big art festival but I hope to do so soon! Sandy beach vacations will have to wait - I want some serious eye-candy!
"With over 50 art shows spanning more than a decade, SCOPE has solidified its position as the premier showcase for international emerging contemporary art and multi-disciplinary creative programming. SCOPE’s extensive reach enables an unrivaled opportunity for networking with art patrons, creative professionals and a culturally relevant public audience. Renowned for presenting the most innovative galleries, artists and curators, SCOPE Art Shows in Miami, Basel, New York, London and the Hamptons have garnered extensive critical acclaim, with sales of over $450 million and attendance of over 700,000 visitors." -www.scope-art.com
Toronto International Art Fair
"Founded in 2000, Art Toronto: Toronto International Art Fair is Canada’s only modern and contemporary fine art fair, providing unique access to the Canadian art market. An annual fall event, Art Toronto serves as the galvanizing vehicle for the nation’s art world. Considered the country's must-attend event for art collectors and industry professionals, Art Toronto is the place for galleries wishing to attract a new sophisticated market of collectors, and professionals, and the place to network with a diverse and well connected group of fellow participants. Building on its successful platform as an exceptionally well serviced, user friendly fair, Art Toronto presents more than 100 select galleries, complemented with special projects, exhibits, a full VIP program and dynamic cultural offerings." - www.arttoronto.ca
The Armory Show
"The Armory Show, a leading international contemporary and modern art fair and one of the most important annual art events in New York, takes place every March on Piers 92 & 94 in central Manhattan. The Armory Show is devoted to showcasing the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. In its fifteen years the fair has become an international institution, combining a selection of the world's leading galleries with an exceptional program of arts events and exhibitions throughout New York during the celebrated Armory Arts Week." - www.thearmoryshow.com
Above is a photo from the Toronto Art Fair which features photography by Eric Deis. You may recognize Eric as the creator of Artist Run Website but you may not have known that he is also an accomplished artist who uses the medium of photography. The Toronto Art Fair was a great experience for Eric as he was able to expose his portfolio to a different crowd of people beyond Vancouver in such an exclusive arts event. It's great to see an excited group of art enthusiasts flocking around his work. Way to go Eric!