We chatted with lovely ladies Michelle Frederick and Veronica Iacobelli, who were on the Villa del Arte stand at Affordable Art Fair Battersea to find out what it’s like doing an art fair from their perspective.
What does a typical day at an art fair involve?
We try to get to the fair early so we can make any little last minute changes to the stand and grab some coffee, lots of coffee! Then we’ll re-assess the stand; is there anything we want to change? How did visitors respond the day before? Depending on how the day goes, we might have to replenish the artwork, but our time is mainly taken up with chatting to people.
How does that differ from the day-to-day in the gallery?
It’s not too different actually! There’s a lot more artwork and a lot more people at a fair, so you have to be quicker on your toes to keep up! At the fair you have more artworks in a smaller space to organize.
Pivotal moment for you gallery?
The gallery was split over a number of different locations around Barcelona before it moved, eight or nine years ago, to the one it’s in now. I think it’s been a really good move for the gallery, it’s in a beautiful location, the space itself is lovely and it’s a vibrant area so we have the opportunity to meet lots of new people.
Best thing about doing an art fair?
Seeing different cultures, wherever you go the way people interact with the art is always different.
Hardest part of an art fair?
You always think after a fair, could the stand have been better? Did we hang it right? Did we bring the right artists? Did we put the right artists next to each other? You do rack your brains wondering if there was something you should have done differently.
How do you find new artists?
We have just done an open call for the gallery, which means we put out calls on different websites asking people to submit work. The gallery owners go to a lot of open studios and art fairs to find artists they like, and sometimes our artists will recommend other artists they know.
Favourite part of your job?
It’s amazing just being surrounded by the art, it’s such a privilege.