Frieze is the highlight of the London arts scene. For a week the good and rich come here for a jamboree of cocktails, talks, networking and art. However, for the rest of us with less deep pockets The London Art Fair in January provides with an interesting selection of artists and galleries aimed at the mid-market, between £2,000 to £10,000. ArtRooms is the new kid on the block with a mix of independent galleries and artists. Located in the rooms of a four star hotel in Regent's Park, it is an interesting concept to complement one of the most distinctive Fairs in London today.
Painting by Fabio Mariani. Courtesy Le Dame Art Gallery and the artist
Cristina Cellini Antonini & Chiara Canal, founders and directors of ArtRooms, kindly agreed to respond to the following questions:
1. Can you tell us what ArtRooms is about and why is so special?
ARTROOMS2015 is a new art fair committed to the visitor's experience. The first edition of ARTROOMS will take place from the 23rd to the 26th of January 2015 at the Melià White House Hotel. The fair is organised by Le Dame Art Gallery together with Triumph UK and GEM Creative. ARTROOMS is an innovative concept of art exhibition that offers independent artists the opportunity to exhibit their artworks in an intimate dimension, shortening the distance between artists, curators and visitors. The unique setting of a luxury hotel room becomes a pioneering way to access art. The entire first floor of the Hotel will be converted into a gallery by turning 76 rooms into exhibition spaces.
Artworks are selected by a Committee and an Arts Advisory Board, among members Roberta Cremoncini, director at the Estorick Collection, Greta Scacchi, actress and art dealer, Ian Rosenfeld, curator and director at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery and Arturo Galansino, exhibition curator at the Royal Academy of Art.
The first edition of ARTROOMS2015 can count on relevant partnerships that helped to create a dense network of art dealers, artists and visitors, offering the opportunity to show emerging talents. Among Partners, ARTROOMS2015 is delighted to present the Italian and British Chambers of Commerce, which work as a bridge between artists based in different countries and London, the charity Bow Arts Trust, a hub of emerging London based artists and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, as Museum Partner.
2. What is your background?
I've been into Arts for all my life, from performing arts to visual arts. To me "Art is evolution" meaning that I cannot imagine a society without art! Two years ago together with Chiara Canal, we opened Le Dame Art Gallery in Notting Hill. Holding a strong connection between Italy and England, Le Dame is specialised in scouting the finest Italian artists. However, the gallery's portfolio is not restricted to new artists, we also work with well-established figures such as Mauro Pallotta. Few months ago when we decided to go for ARTROOMS we couldn't imagine that we would have been able to create such a huge network of artists! London is "THE" cultural scene where the global art market is booming and this is the place where we want to be.
Pencil Drawing by Riccardo Girardi. Courtesy Le Dame Art Gallery and the artist.
3. Why did you decide that the Art Fair will take place in January and why in Regent's Park?
The Meliá White House Hotel next to Regent's Park is quickly becoming an art hub in London giving a space and name to artists all over the world. Currently the hotel is hosting an exhibition curated by Le Dame Art Gallery showcasing more than 60 artworks, including works by MauPal, Gene Bible, Nicolas Moussette, Kos Cos, Lichena Bertinato, Fabio Mariani and Dino Maccini among others.
This is not the only reason though. Art buyers will have one more reason to show up in London, as two important events will dress the capital with contemporary art during the same week in January 2015: the London Art Fair and ARTROOMS2015. We trust that also galleries exhibiting at the London Art Fair will be interested in discovering "our" talented artists. We have extended the fair for an additional day in order to allow buyers and gallery directors to visit us before leaving London.
4. Any interesting projects you are bringing to the Fair?
ARTROOMS2015 will be a great opportunity to raise funds for our Charity Partner Bow Arts Trust, one of London's leading organisation in supporting artists. During the Gala Dinner there will be an auction with artworks donated by exhibiting artists as well as generous gifts from our Partners and Sponsors. Among other projects: a special section dedicated to SEA (SouthEast Asian) Arts, workshops and talks.