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Auckland Art Fair partners with My Art to make art ownership more accessible

Friday, May 20, 2016

New Zealand’s international showcase for contemporary art, Auckland Art Fair, has partnered with My Art to make art ownership easier.

A New Zealand-run initiative that offers interest-free loans to buy art from participating galleries, My Art endeavours to develop personal collections and support the local creative community by making the curation of art collections a more accessible and affordable venture.

Returning this year after a three-year hiatus, from May 25th-29th at The Cloud on Auckland’s Queen’s Wharf, the 2016 edition of Auckland Art Fair will see a shift in focus to art of the wider Pacific region, including not only NZ and Australia, but also Rarotonga and Chile.

New Owner, North Port Events, one of New Zealand’s leading event management companies, has appointed two experienced co-directors, Stephanie Post and Hayley White, to lead the Auckland Art Fair team, bringing a refreshed, more premium focus to the 2016 event.

“Our aim is to deliver a fair focused on the unique talent found in this part of the world, that appeals to a wider collector-based audience as well as first time art buyers. We’re excited to partner with My Art to make art purchasing at the fair more accessible for new collectors as well as more attractive for established ones”, Post comments.

My Art is based on similar international initiatives in the United Kingdom and Australia that have been hugely successful, with the UK scheme loaning almost $70 million for over 35,000 pieces of artwork since its inception. The New Zealand scheme offers loans that range from $1,000-$25,000.

Loans can be used to either make buying more manageable, to buy a special work with a larger deposit or to help fund multiple purchases from different galleries. Collectors are encouraged to get pre-approved online prior to going shopping at the Fair or visit the My Art team at the Art Fair.

Once an artwork has been selected and a (minimum) 10% deposit is paid, the My Art loan will cover the remaining 90% of the cost which is repaid over 9 months with no interest, and the collector is able to take the artwork home.

Founded by Glenn Hawkins, the owner of Avanti Finance, and his wife Sonja, an interior designer, both are passionate about art and have an impressive personal art collection in their Parnell home.

The couple are heavily involved in the local arts community; Glenn is a trustee in the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation and both he and Sonja appear on the Auckland Art Gallery honour board.

Underpinning the nature of My Art is the fact that the Hawkins’ are strong advocates for New Zealand art and artists. Many galleries previously offered layby schemes where artwork is paid off in instalments, however the buyer won’t get the artwork until paid for in full and that’s when the artist is typically paid. My Art pays the gallery upfront allowing them to help artists in their careers and increase market turnover.

Existing international schemes have seen a significant number of first-time art buyers taking out loans to begin collections, a trend the Hawkins’ would like to see replicated here.

“My Art makes buying less complicated. There is some fantastic art being made and created in New Zealand by established and emerging artists, and a platform like My Art can really help this market to flourish”, comments Glenn Hawkins.

Of the 40 galleries showing at the fair, almost all of those have signed up to offer interest free loans through the My Art scheme.

Auckland Art Fair has more than tripled in size since the inaugural event in 2005. The 2013 fair attracted 10,000 visitors and generated sales of more than $3.5 million.

Auckland Art Fair opens to the public with an Opening Night from 5pm-8.30pm
on Wednesday 25 May and will be open during the day from Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 May. On the evening of Friday 27 May, would-be and existing collectors are invited to mingle with artists and gallery owners in a friendly informal environment at the Artists’ Party at The Cloud, where Peter Gordon’s bars and eateries will be open for exceptional food and drinks. Tickets for the Opening Night, Artists Party and public days are available from

Emily Hartley-Skudder, 'Still Life with Kitchenware', 2016, oil on linen, 185 x 280 mm, courtesy {Suite}.

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