In July last year, BayBuzz reported that contrary to expectations that art sales would plummet as a result of a Covid economic recession, in fact, New Zealand art sales were surprisingly buoyant. Hawke’s Bay galleries confirmed that they too were experiencing excellent sales.

This week the Auckland Art Fair has confirmed that more than NZ$10 million worth of art was sold by 38 galleries at the 2021 Art Fair, exceeding Fair sales in previous years by $1million, continuing an upward trend – 2021: $10m+, 2019: $9m+, 2018: $7m+, 2016: $5m+. 

Proceeds of the art sold go entirely to the artists and their galleries, making the Fair a significant cultural and economic event for visual arts in Aotearoa, especially at a time when artists and galleries have been impacted by recent global events. 

More than 7,000 visitors attended the Fair from all over New Zealand to view and celebrate the outstanding contemporary art of Aotearoa and the Pacific Rim region. 

The 2021 Auckland Art Fair was one of the first Art Fairs to take place anywhere in the world since Covid-19 took hold last year. 

The announcement reads, “With almost every other international Art Fair in the world cancelled, including the 2020 Auckland Art Fair, it was a privilege to hold a live Art Fair in 2021 and we are delighted with the results. Even the 2021 Auckland Art Fair was delivered against a status quo of uncertainty, with Alert Level 3 in Auckland the week before we opened and the day before we were due to close,” said Stephanie Post and Hayley White, co-directors of the Fair. 

The first ever summer edition of the Auckland Art Fair opened at The Cloud on 24 February and was scheduled to run until 28 February, but had to close one day early due to the introduction of Alert Level 3 for Auckland on the final day. 

Highlights included the participation of four galleries from Australia, and one each from Rarotonga and China, despite closed international borders. These galleries sent the art from overseas and worked with locals to manage their stands. 

The 2021 Art Fair also saw the presentation by Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre of Len Lye’s major kinetic sculpture Big Blade, never before seen in Auckland, at the entrance to the Fair, plus a new outdoor sculpture space overlooking the Waitematā Harbour. 

North Port Events, the owners of the Auckland Art Fair, have confirmed that the 2022 Auckland Art Fair will be held from March 2-6 at The Cloud. For further information visit: artfair.co.nz

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