The Secret Centre of the Universe for the Art World....
Subscribers to my occasional newsletters may recall that about this time every year something big and important happens in the art business world. And yet for many of my subscribers it is a puzzle.
“Spring Fair ?” they say, “never heard of it!”
The Spring Fair is a very well kept secret! It is a secret because the Spring Fair is a trade only show and the general public are not admitted.
It is actually a huge event that takes over the whole of the vast National Exhibition Centre [NEC] in Birrmingham, UK for a week. Nothing else is as big. It has been going for a million years [slight exaggeration … it was opened by the Queen in 1976] and I have exhibited there from the very first show right up to the present day.
In the past I have had my own stand, or I shared a stand with other artists. For the last couple of years I have been happy to be included on international art publishers stands as one of their artists. I let them pay the staggering upfront costs and do all the work.
It is a trade only show where artists can rub shoulders with dealers, gallery owners, interior designers, other professional artists, the Fine Art Trade Guild, publishers, department store buyers, and a worldwide audience of people who might just want to give you lots of money.
It is so big because it doesn’t just exhibit art. It also shows furnishings, jewellery, tableware, greetings cards, gifts etc.
In past years I have given seminars to invited audiences and I have demonstrated my painting techniques live on the stand. Nowadays my annual visit to the NEC is just a tiring and exciting one-day affair to meet my various publishers and pick up their latest trade catalogues with my images inside [hopefully]. It is a chance to meet up with old pals and pick up some of the very latest trends and ideas.
I know that the publishers are going to be showing some of my new work (the image below of NY34th St is one) to important buyers with very deep pockets. "[93% of the 64,000+ visitors who attend Spring Fair have direct purchasing responsibility. And last year £2.4bn was spent as a direct result." Spring Fair website]
So, if you are reading this and you are in the art business, maybe we could bump into each other. But if you are an art collector or an art lover, then we wont because you cannot go there.
Watch this space and over the next few weeks I may be able to share some other feedback.