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Features and programming at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2017


Affordable Art Fair Bristol. Photograph by Jo Hounsome.

Looking to plan your visit to the Affordable Art Fair Bristol? Start by previewing our fair guide here »


For a first look at all the art on offer this year, make sure you join us on Thursday 7 September from 5.30 – 9.30pm. Enjoy a complimentary drink whilst you peruse the artwork at our evening view in support of our Charity Partner, Studio Upstairs.

Studio Upstairs exists to provide holistic support to people who are experiencing enduring mental or emotional difficulties. They offer a range of services that encourage members to re-create their reasons and purpose for living, find new ways to live and experience a better quality of life. Through their safe, local studios available to all who need them, they provide an environment in which everyone can transform their life through creative community.

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Join us at our Friday Late session from 5 – 8pm for an evening of art-filled fun! Enjoy the fair with a complimentary drink in hand as you wind down post-work.

Arrive between 5 ­– 6pm to make the most of our #arthappy hour! We’re offering complimentary entry to the fair for one hour and a free gin and tonic, courtesy of 6 O’Clock Gin on a first come first served basis, for those early arrivals.

So, if you’re in need of some art to liven up your walls, come and help us kick start our weekend extravaganza by browsing our curated selection of original contemporary artworks all under one roof!

The Great Bristol Colouring Challenge, 5 – 8pm

Join us for giant colouring-in fun with Lisa Malyon and Folk House for all ages. Bring your glass of wine and get colouring your city! 


We've got a packed programme of free, creative workshops, talks and tours for all the family at Brunel's Old Station this September. Outside of workshop times, the Creative Studio will be open with art supplies on hand for all ages to drop-in and get creative. Unless otherwise stated all activities take place in the Creative Studio.

Friday 8 September

The Great Bristol Colouring Challenge, 11 – 2pm

With the world of colouring in being all the rage due to its mindful benefits, Folk House has teamed up with Bristolian artist Lisa Malyon for a colouring-in session with a difference. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the fair, grab a pen and get scribbling, shading and doodling giant images of the city. For all ages. 

Saturday 9 September

Paint with Paper, 12 – 2pmAffordable Art Fair Bristol Creative Studio

Come and stretch your imagination and create a personal landscape. Join our charity beneficiary, Studio Upstairs who will be going back to basics, working with colour, pattern and shape to create abstract compositions from your imagination. With art therapist Hilary Rapp from Studio Upstairs. For all ages. Children 16 and under welcomed with a participating adult. 

Sofa Session: Framing, 2 – 3pm

Join Joe from Niche Frames for some expert advice on what to consider when framing your new artwork. Joe will talk through various framing examples and give you hints and tips for making the best of your new work of art. In the Talks Lounge. For adults. 

Print-a-tote and Recycle! 3 – 4pm

Not only do tote bags keep plastic bags out of landfill but also you can customise them however you want. Come join Folk House for a mini workshop in using simple printmaking techniques and recycled materials to create a fun and vibrant picture or pattern onto fabric. For all ages. 

Painting Places with Alex Lucas, 5 – 6pm

A very special workshop with artist Alex Lucas who is well known for her quirky and colourful murals around Bristol. She'll create the images and all you need to do is fill them with colour! 

Sunday 10 September

Pinch Pots: Containers of Hope, 12 – 2pm

With Bay Deane from our charity beneficiary, Studio Upstairs. The concept of the ‘container’ is important to art therapy as it can symbolically represent the ‘psychological containment’ of emotions. We invite participants to experience the therapeutic qualities of clay, and to learn how to construct pinch pots and coil pots. Objects or written messages can be placed in completed pots – transforming them into ‘containers’ for your ideas, aspirations or hopes. For all ages. 

Sofa Session: Art, What is it Good For? 2 – 3pm

Join our charity beneficiary Studio Upstairs on the sofa, as they share how they use art as therapy to transform lives. Based in Bristol and London, Studio Upstairs offers people with mental or emotional difficulties the opportunity to be part of an artistic therapeutic community. For adults. 

Doll Parts: A Family Workshop, 3 – 5pm

Join artist Alice Vaughan and Folk House Bristol to create your own sculptural figures. With their help you will decorate, stuff and sew and bring your creation to life! Children must be supervised by an adult and sewing will be done of the child’s behalf by staff members. 


For visitors looking to snap up works by the next big thing, the fair will be showcasing a selection of pieces from UWE’s graduating class. For the first time, the fair has teamed up with local University, the University of the West of England, to support the creative talents that Bristol has nurtured. Six students have been chosen, including Josephine Atkinson, whose highly stylised photographs look at our psychological and sociological relationship with food. Her pieces will be shown alongside installations and sculptures by fellow graduates Connor Lowe and Alice Vaughn, which look to distort perceptions of scale and strength to explore themes of anxiety and obsession. All work will be available to purchase at the fair.

As part of our partnership we are also pleased to be welcome the Centre for Fine Print Reserarch, based at UWE, who will be bringing work demonstrating the next exciting leaps in print and technology, including the unique opportunity to buy a limited edition print by an experimental drawing robot and its creator, Paul O’Dowd. 

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE – ALEX LUCASAlex Lucas, Great Bristol Half Marathon T-shirt Design

We're excited to announce that this year’s Artist in Residence slot will be filled by Bristol-based Alex Lucas of Clifton Fine Art. Alex’s quirky and distinctive mural designs are unmissable on the streets of Bristol and we are sure her signature style will be a stand out feature at this year's fair. 

Working with Alex we joined forces with another staple in the Bristolian calendar - the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon - to create a bespoke design for the race finishers t-shirt, to be worn by over 10,000 runners taking part in the race on Sunday 17 September. As Artist in Residence, Alex will be at the fair hand-finishing a limited edition run of prints of the specially comissioned t-shirt design. So, if it's a truly original piece that you're after, be sure to get down to the fair early and get your hands on one of these seriously enviable artworks! 


Visitors will now be able to get their purchased artwork framed at the fair as we welcome local framers, Niche Frames. Visit Niche for advice and to discuss getting your newly purchased artwork framed at stand A7, next to our wrapping service.

Ready to get creative? Then grab your tickets to our Bristol fair here.

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