Sep 28, 2023

Success at an art fair is not simply a matter of showing up and hoping for the best. The sheer number of exhibits, galleries, and artists at an art fair can make it challenging to decide how to make the most of the experience. With a few tips and strategies in mind, art collectors can navigate an art fair and discover new and exciting pieces that will make a perfect addition to their collection:

Establish Your Art Fair Strategy

Before heading out to an art fair, it’s a good idea to establish a clear strategy especially if you are planning on attending multiple fairs! Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge and some art fair tips, you can navigate any fair with ease. Whatever your goals may be, by taking the time to prepare and equip yourself with some helpful art fair tips, you're sure to leave feeling fulfilled and inspired.

First, consider the purpose of your visit. Are you going with the intention of buying a specific piece or to enjoy the artworks on display? For first time art buyers, here’s a guide for starting an art collection. It can also be helpful to attend with a specific theme or style in mind to narrow down your search. Do your research beforehand and map out your path by identifying which galleries, art dealers, and artists you want to focus on. It’s also worth purchasing tickets in advance to streamline the process at the door.

Meet the Gallerists & Artists

Attending an art fair is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the artworks, artists, and galleries. While browsing through the myriad of art pieces, it's important to ask questions and engage with gallerists and artists. Do not hesitate to enquire about a particular piece of artwork, the artist’s approach, or the gallery’s values and identity.

While at an art fair, take advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with art professionals, who can provide valuable insights and recommendations. By doing so, you gain a deeper understanding of the artwork and its creator, creating a more meaningful and personal connection. It can also often lead to great deals or insider information on up-and-coming artists. And if you’re asking what does an art dealer do specifically, read on!

Participate in Onsite & Online Programming

Art fairs often have artist talks and exhibition tours to expert panels and workshops aimed at educating visitors about different art forms, artists, and styles. Participating in these programs and features can add value to your experience, expand your knowledge of the art world and provide invaluable insight into the art you love. Check out One Art Nation's past art fair symposia to give you an idea of programming available. It is an opportunity to learn from experts, hear from the artists directly and engage with other art collectors.

Attending events in person can help you establish relationships with artists and curators, while online programming like our new ArtCollect online course gives you access to educational materials and behind-the-scenes footage. Taking advantage of these resources at art fairs can give you the tools and knowledge you need to enhance your collection and make informed purchases.

Buy Art You Love

Art is subjective, and ultimately, art collectors should buy what they love and what speaks to them. Think long-term and consider the purpose of collecting for your space. Art is an investment in history and beauty, and it should make you happy every day. Collect based on what resonates with you, the artist’s story, and inspiration. Consider what the piece can become in your home and the artwork’s readability.

If you are ready to make a purchase, ask the dealer directly for the price. Know your budget before looking for art and keep in mind any additional costs, such as shipping or framing. It's important to consider the logistical aspects of purchasing art. Shipping, storage, taxes, provenance, and certificates of authenticity are all vital elements to consider when acquiring new pieces.

Stay Connected

Attending an art fair is not a one-time experience. Your connections and relationships with galleries, artists, and other collectors don't have to end once the fair is over. Staying connected can lead to even more opportunities to further your collection and deepen your knowledge of the art world. One tip is to follow up with any business cards you received and connect with galleries and artists on social media or through email. Additionally, attending gallery openings and events is a great way to continue supporting the artists you discovered at the fair. Don't let the momentum of the art fair dwindle, utilize these tips to stay connected and keep the excitement alive.

In Summary on Getting the Most Out of an Art Fair

Art fairs can be an exhilarating experience for art lovers and collectors. With a little bit of planning, asking questions, and participating in programs, art collectors can navigate the fair with confidence, knowledge, and a clear strategy. Remember to buy what you love and stay connected with the artists and galleries of interest. The ultimate goal is to find that perfect work of art that makes your collection complete. From Art Basel to Redwood Art Group Fairs and Frieze, you’re now ready to get exploring!!

ArtCollect: The Ultimate Art Collecting Guide 

Starting an art collection can be a rewarding and exciting journey, but it can also be intimidating. Whether you are looking to add to your existing art collection or just starting out as a collector, the prospect of navigating the art world can be intimidating. That's where ArtCollect comes in. Our ultimate online course is specifically designed to help art collectors like you build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, ensuring you smoothly navigate the complex world of art collecting. With the guidance of our team of experienced experts from all areas of the art world, you'll develop the knowledge required to build an art collection that is both meaningful and enjoyable. By the end of the ArtCollect course, you'll be a confident and informed art collector with a collection to be proud of. Enroll Now! 

ARTCOLLECT online program for art collectors

ArtCollect: An Expert's Guide to Art Collecting

Charlie Manzo, Alaina Simone, Muys Snijders, Kyle McGrath, Caren Petersen, Jason Rulnick, Elysian McNiff Koglmeier, Bianca Cutait, Linda Mariano, Jack Mur

The Fair Economy: How Art Fairs Have Reshaped the Art Market

Juliet Helmke, Maureen Bray, Cristina Salmastrelli, Eric Smith, Mikhaile Solomon, Elena Zavelev

Pricing Art: The History and Mystery of the Art World

Jane Borthwick, Claire Brown, Susannah Wilson