The majestic setting of Oxford Town Hall will once again be the backdrop for the biggest collection of contemporary art to be brought together under one roof as the city prepares to host the third Oxford International Art Fair this year.
The 2016 fair, a free to attend event which takes place over the weekend of Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February, is set to be the largest and most successful yet, with more than 150 artists from around the world filling three halls with a huge array of original art. Oxfordshire’s artistic talent will also be more visible than ever, with some 35 local artists from Witney to Thame showing and selling their work.
“We’re really excited about this year’s art fair which is already shaping up to be a great event for anyone who is passionate about original art,” says Joëlle Dinnage of The Global Art Agency who organises the fair alongside her business partner Natal Vallvé. “We are expecting some outstanding international and UK artists and galleries and a fantastic selection of modern pieces from painting and sculpture to photography and illustrations which will be on show and on sale throughout the three day event.
“Interest is at an all-time high, with more than 10,000 art lovers expected through the doors over the weekend, and pitches selling out within a short space of time,” she says. “We’re especially pleased to have more local artists than previously at the fair, names like Witney artist Cathryn Jeff, whose distinctive land and seascapes many people will have seen during Oxfordshire Artweeks. We’re also expecting a special collection of contemporary ceramics from Oxford’s Daiva Kojelyte-Marrow, known for her surrealistic, often colourful pieces inspired by nature, and highlights from the social assemblage projects of Jericho based Victor Buehring. Artists and galleries from as far away as Vietnam, Taiwan, Dubai and the USA will join us too,” she adds.
Among them will be ShaenArt Atelier representing Cheng YuHsuan, an artist based in Taipei, Taiwan. Shaen’s unique style of painting is all about bold colours used strikingly across landscapes, still life and portraits, with each piece telling its own story.
Christine Walters is a performance artist who originally hails from the USA and is now working in London. She paints the abstract of live DJ music, where her art is created against an exciting backdrop of music and performance. Visitors might catch her live in action at the fair.
Visitors will also be able to wander through the halls admiring the art and talking to the artists to find out more about how they work. They will be able to buy directly from the artist, taking away a one-off piece for the home, office or garden.
Afterwards they can vote in person or on their smart ‘phones in the Oxford International Art Fair Awards, which celebrate the artists whose work has particularly caught their eye and those of a panel of judges specially invited to critique the artworks.
Judges include Esther Lafferty, Festival Director of Oxfordshire Artweeks, BBC Oxford’s Bill Heine, and serial-entrepreneur and businessman Sean Shannon, Guinness Book of Records holder of the fastest speaker in the world, plus a mystery guest judge who will be revealed shortly. Between them they will all help decide the ‘Best Oxford International Art Fair Artist’ 2016 and win an exhibition at another forthcoming international art fair.
New features for this year include the art fair’s first wine tasting event where visitors can indulge their passion for the grape alongside art and purchase a tasting course for just £5.00 which gives them three wines and complimentary canapés.
“This fantastic, free art fair is a brilliant way for anyone who loves art to come and have a great experience coming face to face with talented artists and their work,” says Joëlle. “Browse the collections, discover more about art and hunt out a special piece for yourself or as a gift. Art is something that anyone can enjoy, whatever their knowledge, and the art fair is the perfect place to do it,” she says.
The fair starts in style on the Friday night, 26th February 2016, with a special private view and champagne reception. Part of the proceeds from the £10.00 VIP tickets will go to Cancer Research and there will also be the chance to raise even more money for good causes by bidding for selected artworks during the event. Entry to the rest of the art fair is free and tickets can be booked in advance to save queuing via the ticket site.
The Oxford International Art Fair 2016 takes place from Friday 26th February to Sunday 28th February 2016 at Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BX.
The private viewing is from 6pm to 9pm on Friday 26th February, with the art fair open from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February. The Best Oxford International Art Fair Artist 2016 will be announced at 4pm on Sunday 28th February.