London Art Fairs

Visitors have a plethora of arts and crafts fairs which they can attend when they travel to London in October!

Personally, I love Arts and CRAFTS. It seems that Crafts are some kind of step-child of “Fine Art” and I think this is complete nonsense! The artisans who produce fine crafts are indeed fine artists. There is no distinction, yet “craftspeople” somehow never get the same patronage. So that is another reason, in the tough economy, that I am encouraging you to buy your London souvenirs from original, British artists and craftspeople! An art fair is a great place to get all your London shopping done, even for the Holidays. Bring back unique, hand-made English treasures.

The art fairs in London which I have chosen to highlight most are:

  • The Original Arts & Crafts Fair: Somerset House, 150 The Strand, London WC2R. Nearest Tube: Charing Cross. Open October 13 – 18. Times: 10am – 6pm (until 9pm on Oct 15). Fees: The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. Transport Charing Cross. Prices £10; £15 unlimited entry; under-12s free. Learn more from London’s Art Fairs – October

    At this fair, more than 150 established designers and rising stars appear at this showcase for contemporary British craft. The fair is held in a pavilion in the Somerset House courtyard.

    There are pieces available to buy or you can discuss commissioned work from the artists in disciplines including glass, ceramics, jewelery, metal, furniture and textiles.

    As part of the Fair, there are also workshops, demonstrations and talks for kids and adults. This year, the emphasis is on basketry, for which Britain has had a long tradition, especially using willow. London visitors, including families, can take part in basketry workshops involving weaving and reconstructing familiar objects in basketry form.

    There will be 8 basket makers presenting their work, including the striking large-scale, bird’s nest-style structures, on one of the exterior pavilion walls, by Laura Ellen Bacon.

    Your can pair this Fair with a meal at nearby Fleet River Bakery, one of the Best Breakfast Places in London, according to TimeOut. They seem to serve breakfast all day. In the warren of comfortable rooms, they serve a wide variety (the menu is online). There’s also a Saturday brunch with delicious choices. The mainline options allow for food-to-go or to eat in the bakery. Examples are: house muffins or brie and tomato croissants to go OR hot options include scrambled eggs on sourdough or sausage baguettes with their own spicy onion marmalade. A sit-down breakfast for two, with service is around £12.

    FRB is located at 71 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Camden which is just a moderate walk up from The Strand at the Embankment. Phone: 0207 691 1457. Closest Tube station: Holburn.

    Fleet River Bakery also has a special 20 West England Ciders with Ham, Cheeses and Sausages Tasting event scheduled for October 15th, 2009 from 4pm – 10pm. Learn more: London restaurants – TravelVacationReview’s List

    While you are at the Somerset House for the Original Arts & Crafts Fair, you might also consider going in to see the extensive array of mosaics at The Gilbert Collection – Somerset House, 150 Strand Charing Cross, London, WC2R 1LA. Phone: 020 74209400

  • Free Art Fair – only until Oct 18. It’s the last of a series of three, and because it receives no official funding, it seems that a good idea is going to disappear. At the end of this unique fair, the art is always given away, by lottery!

    It’s a chance for ordinary people to be able to own a piece of art by a well-regarded artist. The idea of all the participating artists is that Art is for everyone, and that artists should have freedom of expression (and be unfettered by the nuanced pressures of the Art Market and Patrons with money).

    You can learn more at:
    London’s Art Fairs – October

  • Other classic, annual, London art fairs over the next week are:

  • Frieze Art Fair – Regent’s Park – Oct 15 – 18
  • Zoo 2009 Oct 16 -18
  • Pavilion of Art and Design – Oct 14-18
  • Islington Contemporary Art & Design Fair — until Oct 25
  • There’s something here for everyone!

    ©2009 mystic at Travel Vacation Review