SPONSORED CONTENT - EDINBURGH ART FAIR Your guide to Scotland's largest art fair
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Now celebrating its 15th year, the Edinburgh Art Fair is a firm fixture on the Edinburgh cultural calendar and it is expected to welcome over 15,000 people through its doors between 21 – 24 November 2019. We take a look at Scotland's longest running modern and contemporary Art Fair.

Art for everyone: a brief overview of the EAF
Steady growth
The Edinburgh Art Fair (EAF) launched in 2005, and since then has evolved into the largest art fair of its kind in the UK outside of London. The event has continued to thrive despite political turmoil and changing governments, establishing itself as one of the much-loved highlights of the Scottish cultural calendar. This November more than 500 exhibiting artists represented by 50-60 galleries will bring works from across the UK and around the world to display in the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glassware, photography, original prints - works from £100 to £100,000 are exhibited for sale over three days.
Art for all
But it's about far more than simple economics: the EAF has evolved to find new ways of democracising art, making it accessible to all, from art classes and open easel sessions, to live artist talks. Since year one, they've operated a free, drop-in crèche for children aged 1-12, so adults can peruse the art at their leisure. This year the crèche is being operated by ELSNP. The Edinburgh Art Shop will be there again this year, their sixth visit, providing open easel sessions to budding artists. Children and adults are equally welcome to these free workshops, where EAS donate all of the art materials used.
Past highlights
Think of art as static? The Edinburgh Art Fair has done much over the years to demonstrate it's a living, breathing entity. In 2016, celebrated figurative painter Damien Callan spent three days in the Fair's restaurant, sketching a 'Giant Drawing' of the diners and passersby. His canvas measured 1.5 by 4 metres, and captured a unique sense of the excitement and hubbub of the event. Other highlights have been as diverse as the attendance of graffiti artist Jody Thomas, a live wood carving done across the weekend by Jamie Frost, and the placement of the standout piece 'Koan' by Pip Denham in the Fair's entrance.
Shamanic Live
One of the stand-out highlights of this year’s EAF will be live performances by Shamanic, an art collective which features acclaimed Russian artist Maria Rud, iconic punk rock legend, Fay Fife of the Rezillos, and the frontman of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie & The Filthy Tongues, Martin Metcalfe. Bringing together painting and music to create something utterly mesmerising - reviewers have compared it to watching a live animated film - Shamanic is the evolution of Rud’s AniMotion Show which stunned audiences in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland in 2015 with a performance alongside renowned virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Shamanic takes the show into the realm of rock ‘n’ roll, with EAF performances on 23 and 24 November, and the collective will also have a specially curated stand featuring the work of its members.

Entry information, dates and prices

Edinburgh Corn Exchange 21 - 24 November 2019
Doors open 11am each day
Day ticket £5 / Concessions £3
Weekend pass £7 / Concessions £5
Tickets available on the door or in advance from http://www.artedinburgh.com
Sponsors for the third year are BTO Solicitors, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Follow the Edinburgh Art Fair on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram for the latest event updates.

How to buy art

In popular culture, purchasing art is sometimes depicted as the domain of the terribly wealthy - and terribly pretentious. The Edinburgh Art Fair exists, in part, to challenge that notion: to demonstrate that buying art can be fun, stimulating, and democratic, no matter your price bracket. With works available for as little as £100, there's no reason to discount yourself as a potential art curator. New to it? Daunted? Here's how to seek out a piece you love.

Art: is it a sound investment?

Stories abound of people purchasing a piece of art at a basement price, and, years later, selling it for a small fortune. But is buying art really a means of making a mint? And if so, how should you approach investing?

The golden rule
When buying art, your primary motivation should always be that it is a piece that you like – after all, what you are purchasing doesn’t produce dividends or earnings, so its increasing in value is entirely dependent on supply and demand. Prices can shift up and down depending on the economic environment, and whether or not that artist is currently in fashion. The most sensible approach is to find a piece of art you love, you can afford, and buy it for your own pleasure; you can view any increase in value as an added bonus.
Up and comer or established artist?
That said, if you’ve discovered an artist you like, it can be fun to invest in a piece of their art with a view to promoting their career. At EAF, artists range from early on in their career to being fully established. For a cautious buyer, purchasing a piece of art by an established artist means they will have a proven track record of sales and they’re more likely to garner steady recognition over time, driving up the piece of your piece. Purchasing art from a new artist can be more cost effective, and be a means of supporting nascent talent. Looking to talent hunt? An artist straight out of college with a few award nominations to their name is often a sign they are on their way to becoming ‘established’.

Art as therapy

"Getting something out of art [doesn't just] mean learning about it – it also means investigating ourselves. We should be ready to look into ourselves in response to what we see.”
Alain de Botton, Art As Therapy

Looking at art is about more than pleasure or a potential purchase: it can serve as a balm to the stresses of modern life, be they work-related, financial concerns, or the anxiety created by smart phone dependency.

Studies show 35 minutes of contemplation within an art environment reduces concentrations of cortisol – commonly considered the 'stress hormone.' A wander around the Art Fair, then, affects your physiology: helping you to feel physically calmer.

A study conducted at the University College of London also demonstrated that looking at art you find beautiful increases blood flow to the brain and releases dopamine. This is the same response your body has when you gaze upon someone you love - an utterly intoxicating physical response, and intensely pleasurable.

For children, the benefits of looking at art are even more extraordinary. Most notably, they include developing the child's critical thinking skills, by encouraging interpretation, and promoting empathy, if they study art that depicts people in different times and places.

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It's great for adult's mental development as well - looking at art triggers pattern recognition, setting our neurons firing, helping our brain make connections between past recollections and present concerns, promoting mental agility.

From a more philosophical perspective, "art edits down complexity and helps us to focus, albeit briefly, on the most meaningful aspects of life." (Alain de Botton, Art as Therapy)

Charitable Causes

Since the Art Fair first launched in 2005 they have been supporting the work of charitable causes, inviting groups to take part in the event to try and bring art to as wide an audience as possible and also ensure that their work gives something back to the community.

East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme (ELSNP) are a registered charity providing an annual programme of events and trips for children of East Lothian who have severe and complex additional needs. They run three playschemes per year that provide a constant source of inclusion for the children and much needed respite for their families, and along with the Star Youth Club - a weekly group for teenagers with special needs, their yearly highlight is the annual weekend getaway to Aviemore. The team at ELSNP will once again be providing creche facilities for children aged 1-12, caring for and entertaining your children over the EAF weekend. The crèche facility is on a drop-in basis and is free. The charity relies on donations to maintain their annual programme of events and trips however, so should you wish to make a small donation it would be much appreciated.
Playzone Edinburgh is a collective of artists supported by the EAF who transform an empty space into an alternative OUT OF THIS WORLD exhibition that is playful, interactive and engaging. The artists strive to produce an experience that is inclusive and invite all the groups that might be otherwise excluded from experiencing art in a gallery context, including children, the elderly, people with complex needs and those with diverse mental and physical abilities. The Playzone is a multi-sensory experience and direct interaction with objects are encouraged to help those who experience the world through different senses.
The Edinburgh Art Fair has also provided support and sponsorship to a wide range of local charities working to improve the link between art and health, including: The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, which was set up in 1992 to support the work of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Art in Health, which aims to use visual art to improve healthcare environment, and to sustain productive relationships with the NHS, community health sector, arts sector and wider community. CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association Scotland), which has been working for over 20 years to offer a vital family support service for babies, children and young people with life-threatening illnesses.

Win! Tickets to the Edinburgh Art Fair preview night and a Valvona & Crolla hamper

The Edinburgh Art Fair is offering a prize package to one lucky art lover – two tickets to the opening night preview, where a limited number of people will get to peruse the art ahead of the crowds – and a sumptuous Valvona and Crolla hamper full of delectable deli goods.

To enter, simply click here and answer the questions in the form

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Please note - by entering this competition you agree to share your contact details with the Edinburgh Art Fair, JPI Media and Arte in Europa. Winners and entrants may be contacted for marketing purposes. The Edinburgh Art Fair competition runs until 11.59pm on November 8 2019 and entries are only accepted via the online form. Standard JPI Media competitions rules apply, click here to read T&Cs in detail.