Artistic talent set to converge at fair

The Oxford International Art Fair
The Oxford International Art Fair

Artistic talent from all around the world, as well as from closer to home is converging on Oxford in February as the city gets ready to hold the second Oxford International Art Fair.

Abour 150 outstanding artists and distinguished galleries from 30 countries including Mexico, Africa, the USA and Australia, plus many prestigious exhibitors from the city itself, will be out in force at the free weekend-long art extravaganza.

They include contemporary British landscape painter Kieran Stiles, local artist Gena Johns and international artist Gareth Lloyd.

A former soldier who discovered his artistic talent while on tour in Iraq, Gareth Lloyd is now an Oxford-based artist creating endearing willife art in pencil, paint and charcoal.

Mr Lloyd said: “The event is an amazing showcase for the Oxford art scene and something we should all be shouting about,”

Among the art on show this year will be sculptures by Peter Hibbard, former assistant to the late Henry Moore.

There will also be paintings from two renowned painters – Jenny Graham who paints stylised landscapes and Janet Lawrence, famous for textured depictions of trees.

There will also be award­winning art from last month’s Barcelona International Art Fair in Gaudi’s Casa Batllo, including the subtly comic work of painter and illustrator Jordi Soler and the striking photo art of Belgian artist Glenn Bracke.

Every artist taking part will have the chance to enter the Oxford International Art FairAwards to win the title of Best Oxford International Art Fair Artist 2015 and an exhibitionat another forthcoming international art fair.

A prestigious line­-up of judges including rising British art star Tom Lewis, who appeared on BBC TV’s Junior Apprentice, Kieran Stiles and Esther Lafferty, festival director of Oxfordshire Artweeks, will take the publicvote into account before deciding who carries off the title.

As a taster to the main art event, organisers the Global Art Agency are supporting theDoctors Without Borders charity to hold a gala evening raising funds to provide life-savingassistance for people affected by the ebola virus tonight, Friday.

The Oxford International Art Fair runs from Friday to Sunday, February 6 to 8, at Oxford Town Hall. Entry is free.

There is also a private viewing from 6pm to 9pm on the Friday, with tickets costing £10 to include a glass of bubbly, live music and the chance to meet some of the high profile artists and galleries taking part.