Fresh: Art Fair returns to Cheltenham Racecourse this April

Fresh: Art Fair private view at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse on Thursday May 11 2017 (c) Anton

Fresh: Art Fair private view at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse on Thursday May 11 2017 (c) Antony Thompson / TWM - Credit: © Thousand Word Media

Nearly 4,500 art lovers flocked to Cheltenham Racecourse in May last year to visit Fresh: Art Fair. With 46 leading UK Galleries showing 5,000 works by 400 artists, Fresh: instantly became the biggest contemporary art fair between London and Manchester

Paparazzi by Will Rochfort, The Wey Gallery

Paparazzi by Will Rochfort, The Wey Gallery - Credit: Archant

The new contemporary art fair in Cheltenham last year instantly established itself as a key player in the provincial art fair calendar. Described by one leading dealer as “the best contemporary art fair outside London”, the April 2018 show promises to push the bar still higher.

“It was extraordinary”, says co-founder Eleanor Wardle. “We knew we had wonderful Galleries showing world-class artists. We knew we had something for everyone...original prints and paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics from £100 to £50,000.

Dan Parry-Jones, Rendez-vous, acrylic, oil, screen-print and collage on board

Dan Parry-Jones, Rendez-vous, acrylic, oil, screen-print and collage on board - Credit: Archant

“But an hour before the doors opened we had literally no idea how many people would come and whether they would buy. Then they came, 4,300 of them … “Wow” they said, “This is much bigger than we expected”...”the art is much higher quality”. There was a huge buzz. They kept coming back and ended up buying £500,000 of art over the 3 days …not bad for a first fair”.

And they certainly loved the art. A total of 378 paintings and sculptures were purchased by visitors over the weekend including work by such celebrated figures as Sir Peter Blake and Damien Hirst, internationally acclaimed artists Alan Halliday, Paul Oz, Iryna Yermolova, Anthony Amos and Henrik Simonsen, and many rising stars.

The Fresh: Art Fair cafe

The Fresh: Art Fair cafe - Credit: Archant

What’s new for Fresh: 2018:

31 of the 2017 exhibitors are returning, each with new artists. They include Panter & Hall of Pall Mall; Lime Tree Gallery from Bristol; Brownston Gallery from Modbury and Camburn Fine Art from Chinon in France.

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New Galleries this year include the highly regarded John Davies Gallery from Moreton-in-Marsh and Gallery Pangolin, part of Pangolin Editions, the biggest sculpture foundry in Europe. From further afield there’ll be Byard Art from Cambridge; The Fine Art Consultancy of London and Tokyo; White Space Art from Salcombe and The Doorway Gallery from Dublin.

For the first time in the art fair world, there will be a dedicated outdoor Sculpture Park showing some 70 large outdoor pieces by 15 artists. Once again there will be painters and sculptors working live for visitors to watch and quiz, and there will again be a programme of Talks by art experts.

Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, GL50 4SH. 10 minutes from the M5 with unlimited free parking.

When: Friday April 27 - Sunday April 29 with a private view from 5.30pm on the Thursday.

Tickets: £6 per person on the door or only £8 for two online. Private view tickets £12 for two online, to include wine.

FRESH: ART FAIR is in partnership with The Royal Academy in the West, The Ashmolean Museum Oxford and Cheltenham’s Museum & Gallery, The Wilson. Partners include supercar dealer H R Owen Ecurie and headline sponsor St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

For more information, visit the Fresh: Art Fair website.

In partnership with Fresh: Art Fair we’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets to Thursday’s private viewing. Click here to enter the competition.