THE Great Liverpool Art Fair takes place at the Liver Building next week, followed by The Liverpool Art Fair: Print Edition at Camp and Furnace in December.
Confused much? Well, you’re right to be, but befuddling names aside, having two events of this kind is great for the city’s art scene.
First up, the Great Liverpool Art Fair, on Saturday November 24, is a one-day-only showcase of work, promising high quality with a mix of mediums and prices ranging from £5 to £5,000.
It has been organised by Middlewich-based glass artist Deborah Moses, who was frustrated by having to travel to London to exhibit her work at this sort of event.
Some 400 entries were reduced to 30 by Moses and two other artists – Kate Buston, who works with books and paper, and a mystery name who will be announced on the day.
All exhibitors pay an unspecified fee, which Moses says is nominal compared to the £300-£400 charged by equivalent London events.
The fair will also features artist talks and demonstrations, “edible art”, mulled wine and mince pies, a choir – the Crosby Capriol Singers – and an appearance by the Lord Mayor. Admission is £2 on the door, but free for under-16s.
As well as giving artists the chance to sell their work, the event will raise funds for charity Rights and Humanity, which promotes the dignity and wellbeing of poor and disadvantaged people locally and globally. There will be a silent auction of donated work.
Then, from December 15-16, we have the Liverpool Art Fair: Print Edition, run by gallery and consultancy dot-art. The organisation’s founder Lucy Byrne launched the inaugural Liverpool Art Fair last June as part of the city’s first Art Month.
This incarnation is limited to prints, making the works generally cheaper and appealing to Christmas shoppers.
Artists living or working within a 25-mile radius of Liverpool were invited to enter prints at a non-refundable charge of £5 for three pieces.
Just under 60 pieces by 31 artists will be exhibited – you can expect a mix of print styles and photographs, in limited editions of no more than 250, all priced £150 and under. Entry is free.
I have to confess an interest in this event, as I was a member of the selection panel, alongside Jason Jones, manager of The Cornerstone Gallery, Camp and Furnace manager Ian Richards and Furnace and Domino Gallery owner Felicity Wren.
It was a difficult job, given the quality of submissions, and I look forward to seeing them on display. If I can drag my husband along I might even be hinting for one as a Christmas present.
A strong arts scene needs collectors, and fairs like this, as well as graduate art shows, are a great place to start if you don’t want to spend thousands of pounds. That both fairs are planning further events for next year – two more GLAFs and a third Liverpool Art Fair in May – is very encouraging. It’s great to see a demand for work by local artists.