Saba Askary is the Fair Manager for the second edition of Love Art Fair, coming to Toronto this week (April 17-19). This incredible fair offers exposure for new artists, thousands of contemporary artworks, hands-on workshops, talks, and conversations with fellow art lovers. With over 45 galleries exhibiting, the exhibition promises to have something for everyone.SDTC: What distinguishes Love Art Fair from other art exhibitions?
SA: One of the cornerstones of Love Art is to democratise the art scene. We believe that high-quality art from galleries and collectives should feel accessible, be collected, and be enjoyed by all, not just a select arts-minded few. Some ways in which we do this is through our fun, accessible messaging and atmosphere, workshops and talks, as well as our wrapping station, where you can get your art wrapped and out the door free of charge that day!
What are your main responsibilities, as the Fair Manager?
I mainly handle all communications with our exhibitors, whether local or international. For example, this April, we have galleries coming from Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen and Paris to name a few! This year I have also taken on most of the Marketing for the fair, so there is never a day when I am not busy!
What are you most excited for this year at Love Art Fair?
We had a great inaugural fair in 2014, but I think we’ve really upped the ante for this year, and you can feel the city getting excited! One bit I am really looking forward to is opera singer Meghan Lindsay from Opera Atelier performing at our Private View on April 16. She will be walking through the fair as she sings, and I think it will be a beautiful merge of visual art and sound.
Can you tell us about your career journey?
It’s a funny story. I graduated from Christies in London, UK in 2012 with an Art history degree and decided to stay for 6 months to look for work. I ended up working with the Affordable Art Fair (our global sister fair) as an assistant curator for just a month, but it was an amazing experience. After a year of being back in Toronto, I was referred to Nicole Milkovich (Love Art Director) by a mutual contact who did not know my past experience (and I also had no idea what Love Art was). When we spoke and realised it was the same company launching a fair in Toronto, it was like we were meant to be. Nicole hired me and I have never looked back since!
What are some tips you have to share for someone who has never bought art before, but wants to start?
One of the most important tips that I think first-time buyers don’t realise is that many galleries will provide flexible payment plans for buying artwork. You don’t have to come to a fair with a big wallet, but you can still leave with a piece of art that you will enjoy and love for many years to come.
If you could fill your home with contemporary Canadian art, what would we find hanging on your walls?
Currently there are a few Canadian artists that I am obsessed with. One is Olexander Wlasenko who creates stunning charcoal drawings of old movie stills with Abbozzo Gallery. Another is Curtis Amisich of Mark Christopher Gallery, whose acrylic paintings seem to shimmer and vibrate in front of your eyes while staying completely static. Finally, the painterly works of Robert Wiseman from Muse Gallery are just a perfect symphony of colour, and I would love nothing more than to own one!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love feeling that I am part of a global movement that is making art accessible again, with Love Art in Toronto and the Affordable Art Fairs all over the world. I think attitudes are changing and I can look back one day and be proud of our achievements.
What is ‘art’?
Art is the most important indicator of the cultures and times we’ve lived in.