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We were thrilled to exhibit for the second year running at the FRESH art fair at Cheltenham racecourse, particularly as this was home ground for me.
Selling at Art Fairs is a completely different science from organising a curated exhibition. For one thing you have blank stand of a certain proportion, normally higher than the average ceiling, into which you have to fit, tetris style, your paintings, while still retaining a visual impact and some sort of aethestic. You hope your stand will look good from a distance as well as close up so large paintings and small paintings are of equal importance in this aim. You are showing a number of artists with different styles, techniques and colours which may clash together. It takes weeks of planning, sizing and visualising to come up with a satisfactory layout. Although this planning is mostly done with the aid of technology, I often resort to building a cardboard cut out of the stand, Blue Peter style, and re-positioning endless times proportionally sized photocopies of the paintings cut out with scissors before gluing them to the card.
Of course, when you arrive at the fair, it is only a matter of time before the cardboard cut out goes in the bin with the torn bubblewrap. Thankfully the organisors give us, the exhibitors, plenty of time to set up and make changes before the fair opens.
Once the doors open, you are busy from the start and have an enjoyable few days selling, talking to clients, meeting new artists and rubbing your sore feet from standing all day.
This fair was particularly enjoyable; well organised, civilised, lovely people and with artist demonstrations morning and afternoon adding an extra dimension to the visitor experience.
I have already got my cardboard cut out ready for next year!