Thursday, August 15, 2013
After eighteen months of planning, 10 days of construction, 3 days of installation and 5 days of constant talk, Auckland Art Fair 2013 is over – and amazingly it took less than 12 hours for it all to disappear! We’ve come down from ‘Our Cloud’ and are now snuggled back in the Art Fair office, letting the dust settle on what’s been widely lauded as the best fair yet, with record visitors and sales, and an atmosphere that was buzzing yet relaxed.
At the Vernissage 1100 well-dressed guests happily quaffed 530 bottles of Allan Scott’s fine wines, and over the following four days a record 10,000 people came through the doors. Sales were fast and furious with collectors seeming less cautious than in the previous iterations – positive news for the art industry. The buzz seemed to take the edge off the cold, as one art dealer noted, “I’m freezing, but I’m very happy anyway!”
When asked what was the most valuable outcome of the fair was for them, gallerists commented that it helped build the profile of their artists and galleries, as well as enabling them to reach out to a new audience. Many exhibitors used the event as an opportunity to launch an emerging artist or present a solo show of a more established artist, with very positive results.
The public programme, led by Deborah White and featuring high profile panellists like Sandra Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, was well attended and noted for the important role it plays in education and creating debate in the sector. The Navigator programme was also widely praised for providing insight into contemporary art for a wide range of people, including school groups who were particularly enthusiastic.
We want to say a huge thanks to all of the galleries, artists, collectors, visitors, speakers, crew and volunteers and especially our event partners who all contributed to the Fair’s success. We are looking forward to doing it all again in 2015… Well, maybe after a few weeks of sleep.