A place for every creative soul: Lisa Wolfin (Art! Vancouver)

A place for every creative soul: Lisa Wolfin (Art! Vancouver). Elizabeth Souflis interviewing the director of Art! Vancouver fair. This year's fair will take place on April 19 – 22, 2018.

It has been an incredibly exciting journey. After attending several art fairs abroad, we knew we wanted Vancouver to have the same opportunity to promote artists and their work in a synergistic atmosphere… It is really important to create a place where anyone can see and decide for themselves what they like best; this helps emerging artists gain attention and get their careers rolling.

Art! Vancouver returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre this year for the fourth time, April 19 – 22, 2018. Art! Vancouver is an international fair for contemporary artists and galleries. Local artists, galleries, collectors, creatives and influential, sophisticated professionals from all over the world meet each year to exhibit their work, admire and discover emerging talented professionals.

The founder and director of the fair, Lisa Wolfin, shares with us her thoughts and goals for this year’s convention.

Let’s learn more about Art! Vancouver, a place for every creative soul…

Get your tickets today at www.artvancouver.net

Posted by Art Vancouver on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Four years in a row, Art! Vancouver has been one of the most well-known Art Fairs in Canada; in fact, the Pacific North West’s largest Contemporary Art Show! Can you present us those years, from the very first Convention to the preparations of the latest coming up show in a glimpse? How did you come up with the idea, how did it grow and of course how exciting was (and it is I believe) the whole process…

Yes, it has been an incredibly exciting journey. After attending several art fairs abroad, we knew we wanted Vancouver to have the same opportunity to promote artists and their work in a synergistic atmosphere. We have a great team and work hard on getting the word out there in the art world, on an international scale. We are always partnering and meeting with new creative professionals and organizations, which is very enjoyable but also helps the event grow and develop.

“Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting your feet wet, Art! Vancouver has something for everyone.” According to your catchy motto Art! Vancouver is for everyone! But which people does the convention mainly attract? Is it more of a Canadian based Fair or do in fact people from all over the world participate and visit?

We started the event as an international fair, and have been fortunate to be able to develop and maintain connections with many artists, galleries and show attendees from overseas. We also now have a greater number of media partners from other countries than ever before, so we plan to continue growing in that direction.

How important is for gifted emerging artists to gain attention and, of course, support nowadays? In such a chaotic media world do brilliant artists, in fact, get the attention they deserve?

The art world has changed so much lately, in terms of how art is shared with the public and who decides what exactly makes great art. Something that is important to our organization – and something that art fairs promote – is greater accessibility to the art world. These large art shows provide an enjoyable environment for the public to see great art, and for artists to connect with other creatives. It is really important to create a place where anyone can see and decide for themselves what they like best; this helps emerging artists gain attention and get their careers rolling.

It is also important for artists to ‘Come out of the Closet’. How are you going to be discovered if you are in your studio? No one knows who you are and what your work is about if you don’t get it out in the public eye. Artists need to be able to market themselves. Exhibiting at art fairs allows artists the ability to meet thousands of potential buyers and collectors in just a few days.

On our opening night, we present ‘The Face of Art’ show, which is a runway show in which an artist can introduce themselves to attendees.  The visitors get a chance to meet and speak with the artist, and to find out what drives their work and passion. We try our best to make the fair a collaborative environment, in which visitors can have a personal experience with the artists and their work.

As Lou Wolfin once said, ‘If you are not in the room, you are not in the deal.’ This philosophy has led to some stunning success stories for artists who did show up to exhibit at our event. An example is Argentinian artist Andrés Dorigo, who exhibited at Art! Vancouver in 2015. An art-loving couple visited the show, purchased some of his paintings, and then invited Andrés to paint in their home in Hawaii for an entire month. The couple loved Andrés’ work so much that they purchased many more of his works for their private collection. Shortly thereafter, they found gallery representation for him in New York, Sydney, Hawaii, Mexico, and France. Andrés is now so busy that the benefactors are looking for a new prodigy. We have had a few young stars get their careers started here as well. Los Angeles artist Skyler Grey was with us for the fair’s inaugural year and was recently listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 People to Watchlist. Skyler has had sell-out shows and is represented by many galleries.

As Lou Wolfin once said, ‘If you are not in the room, you are not in the deal.’ This philosophy has led to some stunning success stories for artists who did show up to exhibit at our event.

What’s the process for an artist to join the Art! Vancouver Convention?

The artist would visit the website www.artvancouver.net and register. Our jury will take a look at the application and make a decision.

Something that really caught my attention was that Art! Vancouver also has a philanthropic side… Each year, you collaborate with several selected charitable organizations and both exhibitors and visitors have the opportunity to donate to a good cause. What’s included in this year’s schedule?

Giving back to our community is important to us. This year we support Youth Unlimited, an organization that helps young people discover their potential. From prevention to helping kids on the margins, their dedicated staff and relevant programming offer connection and transformation, by helping adolescents develop mental, physical and emotional well-being.

We often give art to various charities; they auction the pieces off to raise funds for their cause. We like the idea of continuing to give the gift of love – something that art is made out of in the first place. Artists are driven by their love for creation, and you can never truly sell love; it must be given.

Vancouver Visual Art Foundation is the non-profit organization that presents the Fair. Let us know more about the organization and its cause…

Vancouver Visual Art Foundation’s mission is inclusive and interactive, designed to nurture, support and promote emerging and established artists, while fostering education and appreciation of the arts in the community. It also aims to raise the profile of Vancouver in the international art scene, helping our artists and also creating connections with artists and galleries worldwide.

Outside of the Art! Vancouver fair, VVAF supports many charities throughout the year by sending out local artists to paint live, onsite artworks that will be auctioned off. This is an ideal arrangement for all parties involved – the charity receives funding, and the artists get more exposure. This often leads the artists to many different opportunities, and people also become more aware of the art fair.

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us. All of us at The ART.gallery wish good luck to you at the Art! Vancouver and to all of the artists! Four days Art-holiday from London to Vancouver… sounds like a good plan for April!

Art! Vancouver at Vancouver Convention Centre

Learn more about the fair here.

One thought on “A place for every creative soul: Lisa Wolfin (Art! Vancouver)

  1. Pingback: Art! Vancouver at Vancouver Convention Centre, 19-22 April 2018

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