Urban Art 2015 puts art back on the street

Support local art by heading to Urban Art 2015, an annual art fair taking place in the sunshine along the railings of Josephine Avenue on 11-12 July for the fourteenth year running.

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With over 2,000 works of art on sale, Urban Art is London’s largest open-air art fair and is expected to attract around 10,000 people. It offers art-lovers the chance to buy direct from South London artists, including painters, printmakers, street artists and photographers.

For Tim Sutton, local portrait artist and founder of Urban Art, the event is an important and affordable way for professional artists to exhibit their work. Being an artist in London is hard – and if local authorities continue to sell off studio space to residential developers at their current rate, it’s set to become even harder.

“There is still a lack of exhibition opportunities for local artists,” says Tim, “but more worrying is the decreasing amount of affordable studio space…if local authorities want a thriving arts community in their borough they need to ensure there are affordable work spaces.”

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Urban Art has expanded over the years to include different forms of art and this year’s event features a celebration of street art, with some of the UK’s leading street artists – Gent 48, LovePusher and Mr Cenz (who painted the giant grannies mural on Brixton Hill) – painting a 40-foot shipping container at the Brixton Hill end of Josephine Avenue.

Staffan Gnosspelius at Urban Art 2014
Staffan Gnosspelius at Urban Art 2014

For Tim the inclusion of street art alongside more traditional works is a natural evolution from a fair which began with only paintings, to one which now includes photography and prints. “Street artists are just the next lot to start joining in our celebration of creativity,” says Tim, “one day we hope to include sculptors as well, wait and see!”

Printmaker Staffan Gnosspelius has been exhibiting at the fair since its creation, and loves the chance to speak to the public about his work. “The atmosphere is always great,” he said, “it’s one of my highlights of the year and one of the reasons I love living in Brixton”.

The event caters for wallets of all sizes with prices ranging from ten pounds to over a thousand. A percentage of all sales will go to charity partners, which are Holy Trinity School, Jubilee Primary School, Southside Rehabilitation project and the Anchor Group. Last year’s event raised them almost £5,000.

Urban takes place Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 July along Josephine Avenue – head to www.urbanart.co.uk to find out more.



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