South Coast Locals Going Global at the Affordable Art Fair
Gerringong artist and gallery owner Kerry Bruce is set to put local painters on the global stage. Her own Fern Street Gallery will be part of the first ever Sydney Affordable Art Fair - a mega showcase of works from galleries across Australia and around the world.
Fern Street is home to the works of seven South Coast artists, who are permanently on show in the gallery. The artists in residence are regularly joined by national artists for special exhibitions.
In joining the affordable art fair, Ms Bruce looks forward to putting a spotlight on local talent and promoting the South Coast region as an ideal holiday spot for art aficionados. "We're taking the opportunity to spread the news that Fern Street Gallery has got a fantastic spot on the South Coast, and to come visit us," she said. "We call ourselves [the South Coast] the destination for art lovers. "Being part of the fair helps anyone who walks through the door at the fair realise that we are a beautiful place... I think we are going to pick up a lot of collectors who will visit us more frequently once people get to know us."
Four of Fern Street's artists in residence will make the trip to Sydney with some of their newest works; Jennifer Luck, Alisa Beak, and Carmel McCarney will exhibit alongside Ms Bruce. The artists in residence will also make another visit to the Affordable Art Fair's Melbourne event later in the year, sending six of their seven-strong team.
Popping up at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse this June, the Affordable Art Fair aims to make the art world more accessible to all. Fair director Stephanie Kelly Gordine said she hoped to bust some common myths that would typically stop people from engaging with the art scene.
"Over the last 20 years accessibility within the arts and culture has improved, but you will often find people will walk past what they perceive as a traditional gallery and think 'I can't afford any of the art', 'I don't know the background', or 'I haven't studied art' - and they feel sort of intimidated by it," she said. "The idea is that we bring all these galleries together... all the prices are on the labels, and so is the name of the artist, the medium, and sometimes the technique. "This way, people can understand not only what they love, but also what they can afford; it breaks it down so that people can be part of an art community."
The Affordable Art fair has been running globally for over two decades, and came to Australia in 2019 with the Melbourne fair. The event garnered almost $2 million in sales, supporting galleries and artists Australia-wide. Pandemic-related postponements put the Sydney event on hold for the two years. After waiting through a series of date changes, Ms Bruce said the Fern Street team is excited to finally showcase.