The artists on show at Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary range from new, emerging figures to some of the biggest names in the art world. To give you an idea: Tracey Emin has sold work there, the award-winning Jake Bugg has chosen a Buy Art Fair artist’s work for the cover of his new album On My One – and this year sees the return of the Artist’s Studio, a space where individual artists can show work without having to be represented by a gallery. The idea behind it all? A two-part event that combines a fantastic opportunity to take art home (perhaps for the first time), with the chance to discover cutting-edge contemporary artists.
The Manchester Contemporary is a thing to be looked at and admired for anyone who’s not a serious collector – the curated selection of exhibitors here usually come with a hefty price tag. Manchester itself is represented by Castlefield Gallery, The International 3, Paper Gallery, Islington Mill and Rogue Project Space.
Buy Art Fair, on the other hand, distinguishes itself from most exhibitions by placing the emphasis on the art being yours to keep, if you want. Prices start at £50, and there’s the Own Art interest-free loan scheme to help out enthusiasts who don’t have ready cash. It’s a truly varied collection of work from a huge range of galleries, spanning painting, sculpture, photography and craft. Our tip is to spend time exploring the Artist’s Studio, where you can meet the artists themselves and buy direct*. There will also be art classes, an international cultural conference and the popular Artists in Conversation series programmed by Pavel Büchler, as well as food and drink on site. This is a highlight event in Manchester’s calendar – don’t miss it.
*I particularly recommend Sydney Clare Checkland’s luminous, curious photography on Stand 149. She just happens to be my Mother. Yes, nepotism – Editor’s privilege, I’m afraid.