Artists and art-lovers are set flock to London’s largest annual open-air contemporary arts fair being held in Brixton this summer. And when none other than the Evening Standard lists the event as one of the top 50 reasons to love South London, it's clear the fair has become a living work of art in itself.
With more than 1,000 pieces on display from more than 100 artists -- from beginners to more experience creators -- the event is very much established as one that suits all art lovers. Urban Art 2019, which is celebrating its 18th year, takes place in Brixton’s Josephine Avenue over the weekend of Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July from 10am to 6pm.
During the event, artists will exhibit a large range of work along the length of the pavements using the railings on both sides of road as an open-air gallery -- the amazing transformation sees a sleepy, tree-lined street turned into a bustling exhibition space.
A spokesman explains: "It provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see original pieces, talk to artists face to face, and learn the creative processes that created them. It's an affordable and credible exhibition space for new and established artists -- a creative showcase for South London artists.
"We have chosen the dates so that we do not clash with Wimbledon finals weekend. Last year we were hit with the double-whammy of both the tennis and the World Cup which put a dent in our visitor numbers. This year we hope both our art lovers and sports fans will be able to visit.
“Prices range from under a tenner to over £1,000, so this is a great opportunity to buy direct from a wide range of artists including painters, printmakers, street artists, photographers and mixed media examples of which can be found at www.urbanart.co.uk."
There should be a festival feel to the event with additional attractions including food stalls selling hot Mexican, spicy Caribbean and plenty of other choices -- as well as decent coffee! Another encouraging aspect of the event is that is doesn't lose sight of the community and this year is no different -- with charitable donations in the form of a percentage of the sales made during the weekend going to from Holy Trinity School, Jubilee Primary School, Southside Rehabilitation project and the Anchor Group.
Created in 2002 by Josephine Avenue resident and portrait artist Timothy Sutton (who saw the railings in the street and realised it was a natural open air gallery), Urban Art has grown steadily to become the much-loved event it is today and launching it was, he says, an easy decision to make: "I knew from experience the lack of affordable and credible exhibition space so this was a bit of a no-brainer really."
Stefan Gnosspelius, an International print maker who has been exhibiting since 2002, says the atmosphere is always great and the feedback from the public is always very encouraging. He added: "It’s one of my highlights of the year and one of the reasons I love living in Brixton.”