Monday, November 05, 2007

Art Materials Live: 8-11th November at the NEC

On Thursday 8th November, the Art Materials Live exhibition opens in Hall 11 of the National Exhibition Centre and runs until Sunday November 11th.

ICHF - the International Craft and Hobby Fair Ltd organise the exhibition which is sponsored by The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines. The entrance ticket also covers two other (larger) craft oriented exhibitions but I'm really only interested in the art supplies one - which has an increasing number of trade stands this year.

Tickets bought in advance can be used on any day - but I think I'm rather too late for the online purchase at a discounted price and will be having to pay on the door on Thursday!

The advent of online art sites for art supplies has been a big bonus for many people. However, along with the advent of digital illustratation, they do also seem to have helped to reduce many previously good art shops to being purveyors of popular high volume items only. However, I've found in the past that annual fairs are often a good place to get hold of items which can sometimes be difficult to locate in art shops or in the catalogues of online art suppliers. I shall be going with a list of things to replenish which are difficult to find such as certain shades of Caran D'Ache Pablo pencils in open stock, battery powered erasers, electric and/or battery powered pencil sharpeners, 'pencil' erasers and will be also on the look out for any good deals from suppliers of various papers.

Exhibitors appear to include:
  • educators: the SAA Teaching Art; The Open College of the Arts and various art holiday companies and individual artists who provide tuition
  • manufacturers: Derwent; Jakar/Caran D'Ache; Hahnemuele; Liquitex; Winsor and Newton; Two Rivers Paper Company; The Paper House etc
  • Art Journals: The Artist, Leisure Painter;
  • Art Societies: UKCPS
  • and various art materials suppliers
The are also lots of opportunities to try art materials and see them demonstrated. The UKCPS will be there for the third year with a recruitment stand and a 'hands on' workshop area at Art Materials Live. A number of UCPS members will be demonstrating throughout the exhibition and will be available to talk about techniques - including my good friend Gayle Mason who will be there on the Thursday and Friday.
Join us and help Derwent and Winsor & Newton to celebrate their 175th Birthdays at the show. Both companies will be exhibiting with Derwent showing the latest pencil ranges and applications via dedicated demonstrations and workshop sessions. Likewise, Winsor Newton will be providing a 'Hands On' technical area enabling you to work with and understand their products, plus they will be hosting a number of dedicated workshop sessions and theatre presentations.
The ICHF website provides an overview and good data about the various workshops but has quite a lot of scope to be more helpful about the companies on the exhibition stands. For example, the list of exhibitors is obtained through a small pop-up window if you click on the name of the venue. It's a very rudimentary list and says nothing at all about what will be offered on each stand so I do hope I won't be disappointed. There's no online version of the exhibition catalogue despite there only being a few days to go - maybe there isn't one? Also although the attached documents provide details of workshops and demonstrations sponsored by various organisations there is nothing more accessible in the main body of the site itself which gives you an outline of what events happen when on each day. I'd find a daily timetable would be helpful.

I'll be visiting on Thursday and will be using the comments function to feedback on the event.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your comments on my blog, Katherine - I feel honoured! I wish I could flit over to some of these wonderful exhibitions and workshops you have available. What a great way to spend a day, amongst artists and their materials.


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