The Board of NotFair has confirmed that the 2016 NotFair will go ahead despite last week’s cancellation of the Melbourne Art Fair. The NotFair was begun in 2010 by artists Sam Leach and Tony Lloyd, with writer and curator Ashley Crawford. The event has always been independent of the main fair, giving artists and visitors a subversive alternative to the existing art fair model. It has always exhibited emerging, unrepresented and independent artists. This year it will go ahead without its establishment counterpart.

Chairman of NotFair, The Hon. Paul Guest OAM QC is now expecting even more interest in the artist-focused event and said:

“Of course we are disappointed to hear about the cancellation of Melbourne Art Fair, but for NotFair the show will definitely go on. We feel that the NotFair brand is now well enough known to stand alone as a major event and we intend to create our own momentum this year.

“The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Gina Lee as CEO and look forward to working with her to build on the success of the biannual NotFair exhibition and to create a new future for the NotFair Art Foundation. We have also secured a perfect new space in the developing heart of Melbourne’s CBD which is going to make NotFair 2016 a very exciting event.”

The fourth NotFair 2016 will run from 16-21 August 2016 at 524 Flinders St, Melbourne. It will include over 20 emerging and unrepresented artists waiting to be discovered. Previous alumni of NotFair include Giles Alexander, Simon Finn, Nyah Isabel Cornish, Jess Johnson, and Michael Staniak. The full NotFair 2016 program will be launched at the end of March.

Earlier this week it was also announced that the small boutique art fair Spring 1883 would return for 2016’s Melbourne Art Week. Spring 1883 was first held at Melbourne’s Windsor Hotel in 2014 and organised by gallerists Geoff Newton, Vasili Kaliman and Vicki McInnes as an alternative to the Melbourne Art Fair.

If the planned cultural events for the Melbourne Art Fair also go ahead (as suggested in last week’s announcement), it seems that Melbourne might have lively Melbourne Art Week, despite the cancellation of its main event.

An article published in The Conversation by Meghan Wilson-Anastasios looks at ‘What went wrong at the Melbourne Art Fair’.

This development came as a shock to many in the wider visual arts community who were left scratching their heads; at a time when every major city worth its salt has its very own art fair, how did Melbourne, which prides itself on the complexity and strength of its cultural fabric, manage to lose one of the premier events on its artistic calendar?

But to those with an insider’s view of the Australian commercial art marketplace, the demise of the Melbourne Fair came as no surprise.

Read the full article on The Conversation website.