$1.6m in art sales from virtual fair

Media Release
17 June 2020


Auckland Art Fair is pleased to announce that more than NZ$1.6 million of art was sold as a result of the Virtual Art Fair staged in May during New Zealand’s lockdown, with all proceeds going to the artists and their galleries.

Looking forward, North Port Events, owners of the Auckland Art Fair, are delighted to confirm their intention to hold a live Auckland Art Fair at The Cloud from 24 – 28 February 2021 and also a second Virtual Art Fair, online from 3 – 14 November 2021.

The online edition of Auckland Art Fair was developed in response to the cancellation of the 2020 Fair, scheduled to take place at The Cloud from 29 April – 3 May 2020. Co-directors, Stephanie Post and Hayley White described the event as, “a celebration, as best we could, of the talent and diversity of art-making in our region – across New Zealand and Australia, and also around the wider Pacific Rim region.” They go on to say, “It was also our hope that wherever possible, people would support artists by purchasing a work and, in this respect, our expectations have been exceed. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who purchased a work of art through the Fair, and all the artists and galleries who got behind this new format.”

The online edition gathered 35 galleries from New Zealand and Australia, plus one each from China and the UK, who together displayed 527 works of art by 193 artists all viewable for free online.  The galleries who participated in the Virtual Art Fair, and many of the works of art they presented, can be seen at https://artfair.co.nz. During the 18 days that the Fair was online, there were 17,785 visits by 13,082 individuals, who viewed 794,555 pages.

Coming at a time during which exhibitions and events nationwide had been cancelled as a result of COVID-19, when New Zealand and much of Australia were in lockdown and facing grave economic consequences and the arts and culture sectors are particularly hurting, these are very encouraging results.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development head of major events, Richard Clarke says the success of the Virtual Art Fair was a great example of how technology and innovation provided art lovers with a wonderful and unique experience.

“This was a great solution which recognised the importance of supporting the artists and galleries during the lockdown. It’s wonderful to see one of our partners being able to successfully showcase these talented artists and for this model to continue to complement the live Art Fairs.”

Stephanie and Hayley added, “A Virtual Art Fair will never replace the personal experience of a live Art Fair – we all know that art is best experienced in person and we very much look forward to welcoming galleries, artists, collectors and everyone interested in art, to The Cloud again in February. However, our venture into the virtual realm has shown that the online experience does attract new viewers, and buyers, many of whom had not attended a live Fair before but who we hope will do so in the future. We are excited to further develop the possibilities for engaging with new and existing audiences for contemporary art through a second Virtual Art Fair in November 2021.”

Auckland Art Fair is very grateful to major partners, ANZ Private and ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development on behalf of Auckland Council) for their ongoing support – not only throughout 2020 but also their commitment to the forthcoming 2021 Art Fairs. We are also very pleased to confirm that many of our other partners have already committed support for 2021, including Seresin Estate, Atomic Coffee, Jasmax, Southbase Construction, Dulux and My Art.

For further information please visit the Art Fair website https://artfair.co.nz, and for updates follow @aucklandartfair on Instagram.


For any further questions please contact:
Stephanie Post | stephanie@artfair.co.nz | +64 21 688 509
Hayley White | hayley@artfair.co.nz | +64 27 276 4662