Art lovers will be invited to see art in a different way with the launch of the UK’s first major contemporary art fair in the Heart of England. Fresh: Art Fair, which launches its first show at Cheltenham Racecourse in May, is a new national art fair on a mission to make quality art more accessible to the regions, filling a gap currently under-served by other art fairs.
Co-founded by Anthony Wardle, a former chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi subsidiaries, Fresh: will launch with 45 of the UK’s best contemporary galleries, many of which are rarely seen on the UK art fair circuit. With some 5000 paintings and sculptures from over 400 established and emerging artists there will be something to suit art lovers of all tastes and budgets from established and aspiring collectors to complete newcomers to the world of art.
On show will be work from internationally acclaimed and collected artists, Royal Academicians and Royal West of England Academicians, and Members and Fellows of The ROI, RSW, RBSA and RSA. They include Barbara Rae, Mary Fedden, Bridget Riley, Sir Peter Blake, Peter Wileman, Sophie Ryder, Edward Noott and Alan Halliday. Among them will be many rising stars and fresh new faces including Ukrainian-born oil painter Iryna Yermalova, French sculptor Lou-Brice Léonard, English wildlife sculptor Adam Binder and Spanish-born still-life artist Raquel Alvarez.
For the first time in the art fair world, Fresh: visitors will not only be able to buy art, but also bring some of their old paintings that they might wish to sell. Experts from Fine Art Auctioneers Bonhams will be on-site to provide free valuations. With some of the excitement of The Antiques Road Show, visitors to Fresh: may find they have a treasure in the attic.
A father and daughter team are behind Fresh: Art Fair. Anthony and Eleanor Wardle have their own Gallery in Cheltenham with extensive experience in the art fair world. They aim to make contemporary art more accessible to art lovers at all levels of experience, helping newcomers to understand what lies behind the art they see, stretching the boundaries for enthusiasts and introducing new talent to collectors. There will be information and expert talks throughout the weekend encouraging visitors to explore their own artistic sensibility.
Tickets for the three-day show are from £6 per person. One ticket admits two when bought online. The Friday is a free day for all visitors, and children under 16 years old have free entry throughout the Fair. The venue is less than 10 minutes from the M5 and there is unlimited free parking, with a shuttle to the town centre for those who would like to make a day of it. This makes Fresh: one of the best-value and most accessible art fairs in the UK.
Anthony Wardle, Co-founder of Fresh: Art Fair, comments: “We were amazed that there was no major contemporary art fair serving Birmingham, in fact very little between London and Manchester. With 10 county towns and cities within an easy drive of Cheltenham and all the towns and villages of The Cotswolds, it had to make sense to hold a Fair here. Once we started planning we realised there were lots of new ideas we could bring.”
This is the first launch from Fresh: but there are plans to extend to other regions similarly under-served. The 2017 fair runs from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th May at Cheltenham Racecourse with a Private View on the evening of Thursday 11th May. For more information and tickets visit www.freshartfair.net.