Why Accessibility in the Art Market Matters

Oct 04, 2016


By Maria van Vlodrop, Co-Founder and Director of Accessible Art Fair New York Edition presented by MvVO Art

PHOTO: Weekend Photos | Accessible Art Fair 2016 Edition | by Gaëtan Chekaiban

Art, technology, accessibility and change—we’re living in very exciting times! I’m a global, business professional with a lifelong passion for art. After working in both advertising and the tech sector in Europe and in the USA, I started MvVO Art to create innovative opportunities for artists, collectors, art lovers, art experts and corporate sponsors to discover each other and create powerful partnerships. Our debut project is the Accessible Art Fair New York presented by MvVO Art—which I am co-founding and directing. The fair opens on November 1 and I think it is part of a new era for art lovers.


Discover New Talent and Engage with Contemporary Artists

Get your ticket today for the Accessible Art Fair New York here, occuring Nov 1-25


When I moved back to New York after living in Brussels, I was surprised to find that the Accessible Art Fair concept—breaking down the conventional barriers between the artists & collectors, creating an environment where artists share their inspiration and collectors share their responses to art, and presenting the work of unknown and often unrepresented artists to the public—wasn’t a part of the vibrant and exciting New York City art scene.

Access to artists and New York City are a natural combination. I immediately knew that this was a great project for my new business venture, so I reached out to Stephanie Manasseh (the founder of the Accessible Art Fair in Brussels) to bring this unique art fair to New York. Stephanie is the chief curator of our New York Fair with Isaac Aden, an up and coming artist in New York, serving as guest curator. Their combined vision will help us create an extraordinary art experience for everyone. The Accessible Art Fair New York presented by MvVO Art is an entire month of contemporary art and I can’t wait for opening night!


What does this mean for art lovers and artists?

For art lovers & collectors, the fair is a feast of opportunities to discover new talent and interact with artists. Conventional art fairs are fun. They offer a variety of galleries to collectors, but direct access to the artists is what I crave. I think it’s an essential part of the primary art market and it is a game changer for both new and longtime collectors.

The access in “accessible” is about building bridges, opening conversations, and making connections. We’re jumpstarting a process that could take years in conventional settings. As serious collectors already know, the entire body of an artist’s work impacts the enduring value of any individual work of art and—on a more romantic and more important level—connecting with the creator of a work of art enhances the appreciation of art.

You can’t sit down for a chat with Picasso, but you might become an early patron of an artist who becomes important in the future. At the very least, you will have a personal connection with the artist as part of your collecting experience. And that is a wonderful thing!

The 60 artists participating in The Accessible Art Fair New York presented by MvVO Art have been selected by a jury of contemporary art experts, from Sotheby’s, artnet, Gagosian, Collectrium, Sutton and senior art advisers such as Joyce Varvatos and Shary Brownfield. All the artists are talented and committed to their careers, but remain unknown and often unrepresented. For collectors, this vetting is like having a team of professional art advisors do research on emerging and mid-career artists, and then gather the group in one place for a month of ART!

For the artists, the Accessible Art Fair NY is a great opportunity to launch a career. In addition to the sales that will take place at the show, the artists will get immediate feedback from art lovers, be discovered by professional art advisors, and possibly find gallery representation. There is no way to predict where the conversations will lead. We’ve already heard from collectors interested in buying works of art before the Fair opens.

The jury’s role is key. When collectors and art world professionals enter The Accessible Art Fair New York, they will know that the artists are worthy of attention. This sets the stage for unique encounters. In addition, we’re partnering with serious art companies and organizations to hold panel discussions on a range of subjects—all about art, art collecting and artists.

Innovative technology is also playing an important role in the fair. The social media profiles of our artists on our partners—artnet and tumbler—sites will continue to generate interest in the work of our 60 artists and, I hope, to result in post-fair sales. In addition, MvVO Art is exploring the many ways new media can become a tool for promoting artists, educating the art-loving public, and engaging artists & collectors in ongoing dialogs. Technology creates platforms and partnerships, making art accessible to a wide audience.

The setting—The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park—is more than a beautiful Victorian, Gothic Revival backdrop for our contemporary artists. With a historic mission to expand general knowledge, education and appreciation of art, the National Arts Club has become our partner in a mission to remove barriers between the public and the art world. The Accessible Art Fair New York presented by MvVO Art is the first contemporary art exhibit to be held in this gorgeous mansion and they’ve expanded weekend hours to accommodate the crowds of art lovers during our November 1 to November 25 show.

I think this will be one of the “must see” art exhibits of 2016 and the start of an annual event.

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Tickets for the Accessible Art Fair New York, debuting Nov 1 through Nov 25, are on sale now at www.accessibleartfairnewyork.com and via Eventbrite.